Mirror, Mirror…

Most of the time, I don’t have an opinion on being fat, at least not until I look in the mirror. Then it becomes a fashion, exercise, body image volcano of emotional banter that doesn’t stop until I’m well past glancing at the mirror.
I hate mirrors yet I refuse to remove them from my presence. I have one in the bedroom, one in the bathroom, and one by the front door although that one is better than the others because I actually look good in that one. And I can’t forget all the mini mirrors in said bathroom, purse and the infamous rear-view mirror in the car.
Mirror reflections surround us.So what is the infatuation with our image? What went through our minds thousands of years ago when we first glanced into a puddle and saw our image? Something made us want to capture it. Mirrors are put up everywhere and if there aren’t mirrors there’s highly reflective glass or other surfaces. My favorite is when you’re standing waiting for the elevator and there is that super reflective metal pretending to be a mirror between the two elevators or better yet lining the inside. And ooh what ceiling mirrors can do for a girl.
You’d think with all the reflective surfaces we as a society wouldn’t give a shit about our image. I mean why don’t we get sick of seeing ourselves over 50 times a day? Are we just assured by our reflection…we’re never really alone.
We show so much emotion at our reflection. We laugh at it, get angry at it. Lord knows a lot of us cry over it. There’s that minute minority that really and truly can’t get enough of it and think they are perfect. What are they called? Oh yeah, narcissistic.
Despite all the negativity I’m assigning to mirrors I can’t imagine giving them up. I’m curious by nature (aren’t we all). Every time I look into a mirror I see something new. Something I may not have noticed before. A freckle, a crease or the way the light hits the hair on my chin or yes that blonde mustache. Occasionally there’s that two inch hair under my chin that miraculously escapes my scrutiny obviously for weeks on end until just the right light finds it. How I could miss that I’ll never know.
What would our world be like if it weren’t a reflective society? Would we care if our hair had the frizzies? Would we bother with make-up at all? Would we ask our loved ones to pluck our eyebrows for us or forever more walk around with a unibrow?
Will this reflection (pun intended) stop me from looking at myself when I get up in the morning? Hell know! I like to torture myself with the image of baggy eyes and bed head. And where would my self esteem be without a reminder during pee breaks that my hair is too short, my breasts too small, my ass is too big and my ears hey… they’re uneven.
Originally published 7/30/2004 at Large & Lovely, BellaOnline.

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