Tag Archives: self perception

Mirrors

I floss my teeth in front of a mirror. I lean in close and pluck unwanted hairs. I check my teeth, hair, etc. for anything out of place, especially before an interview or something else important. I stand in front of a mirror and take stock of my body–how it has changed from sun exposure, weight fluctuations, age, posture.
I wonder at how different my body and skin look in different lighting. How different I look wearing certain clothing or none at all.

As a girl, I used to brush my silky, long, brown hair; watching in the mirror as it reflected glints of oranges and reds. Other times, I labored at a mirror, dislodging blackheads and zits, and wishing I was pretty, desirable. At a similar age, I stood in front of a mirror and looked at myself, several pairs of socks stuffed in my shirt, as I tried to imagine what I might look like as a woman.

I remember in more recent years, crying and realizing I didn’t really know what I looked like while crying and (experiencing the emotions of the hour); I knew what it felt like, but not how it looked. So, I went in a bathroom and looked at myself. It was intriguing. I was hurting and angry, and yet literally seeing a part of myself I’d never seen before, but one which others had.

I take a deep breath and exhale. I am going to present myself to the world, my slice of the world in which I bounce around, dressed like this, hair styled this way (often not at all), sans make-up, standing this way. Yes. That’ll do.

Buildings, cars, sunglasses, and other objects that reflect on one side, but can been seen through on the other are interesting. The varied reasons for the existence of these like items are interesting.

The world without mirrors (or lots of reflective surfaces). If we could only check ourselves out in the occasional, and often distorted, water surface, what would be different? Would we care as much about how we look? Would we rely more on others to help us look however is deemed appropriate in our group, relying on a sort of group grooming?
How different our perception of self would be.