Looking beyond the mirror

In her spring semester, Maris Krekelberg took a Contemporary Feminism course at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. For her class project, she created a piece of art that focused on the intersection between body image, self-esteem, and sexual violence to inspire women to look beyond the mirror.

Maris Krekelberg and her project.

“I decided to dedicate a full-length mirror to the purpose of encouraging the individual standing in front of it to ‘look beyond the mirror,’ said Maris. “This means to see the qualities in yourself that you cannot see in a mirror, but the qualities that make us who we are.”  

Maris wanted the project to impact women in her community who needed support, so she donated the mirror to the 360 Communities Lewis House domestic and sexual violence shelter in Eagan.

Lewis House appreciation

Lewis House Supervisor Kaitlyn Wyman and her staff are thrilled with the gift. “Lewis House residents work on many things to prepare for a successful and violence-free life after shelter,” said Kaitlyn. “Part of that work involves reclaiming their story, their power, and their self-esteem. This gift will help them do that.”  

Kaitlyn says the mirror will hang in a hallway near bedrooms so all residents can use it.

“I felt so happy that this project I had created would be able to carry this incredibly important message of self-love and acceptance in a place where the individuals need it most. Those who have experienced trauma or abuse especially that of the sexual nature, tend to have an increased distortion of their self-image,” said Maris. 

“Recovering from domestic abuse is a long and painful process. These women and children have been in circumstances which likely caused them to question their self-worth and made them feel isolated. I hope that this mirror can be a small, daily reminder for these women, that they are strong, loved, and that every BODY is beautiful.”