Do we worry too much about what we think others see?
By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times
Twice? Ten times? One hundred?
I’ve never actually taken the time to count. But, I think it’s safe to say that I do it a MINIMUM of ten times. I wake up, fix my hair, and put on make-up. I go to the gym and workout (mirrors galore). Every time I go to the bathroom, I sneak a peek to re-apply lipstick or re-do my ponytail.
Does this make me vain? I don’t think so. However, I recently read an article written by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano for the New York Times in which she commits to a month long “mirror fast.” She does not look into any reflective surface for thirty days. Why? Her hypothesis is that gazing into the mirror dictates her mood. Therefore, avoiding this habit forces her to focus on the image that she puts forth to the world with her actions and not her appearance.
OK. Has a ring of truth to it. Would you agree?
Think about how a bad hair day can make you miserable…or a huge pimple on the end of your nose or when your pants look too tight (even though they fit perfectly fine last month). Why does the way we look matter in the grand scheme of things? Is eliminating the mirror the key to self-love?
Let’s face it. We live in a visual world. People judge others based on their exterior MUCH faster than their interior. Is that fair? Probably not. But, to pretend that your appearance isn’t relevant is naive. Your outfit, hairstyle and amount of make-up you apply are little keys to unlocking your personality. Whether we like it or not, we are giving others an impression of who we are without saying a word.
I do believe that, as women, we are far too critical. The general population will never look like the girls on the cover of Glamour magazine. Even models don’t look like “themselves” without a team of experts behind the scenes! So, why do we try to compare our beauty to that manipulated image?
I think that removing the mirrors from our environment doesn’t solve the problem, though. Changing the way we interpret our reflection is the real solution.
And, this concludes my article because I do not have any answers on how to accomplish this….
And, by all means, stay away from the magnifying mirror (at the very least).