Monday, 27 April 2015

Lotions & Potions - What Do You Think Of Your Reflection?

Standard selfie.  No duck face.

You know that moment when you hear your own voice on a recording and wonder "Is that what I really sound like?!".  I have moments like that with my reflection.  You see, I actually really like what I see in the mirror.  I like my eyes, even though one is a bit squiffy, I have decent lips that wear red lipstick well.  My nose is a sensible enough.  Overall, when I finish making myself up, I'm pleased with the outcome.  Sure, I have bad skin days, my hair rarely plays ball with what I want it to do, but that doesn't matter, because I like my face.  Now, you may think I'm boasting.  I'm not.  I'm certainly not saying I'm amazingly beautiful and everyone should agree.  I'm simply saying that when I see my reflection, I approve of that being me.

No glasses! :O

When I'm lit well or am just feeling pretty, I do indulge in a selfie or two.  I use them as a reminder that I like my face when I'm feeling a bit down.   I'm not usually the selfie sharing type.  I don't duck face well.  It comes as a shock then, whenever I take said selfie, that I look at it expecting to see what I approved of in the mirror and instead I see a different face.  My first reaction is universally that I think my face looks wonky.  My favourite eye is now the squiffy one,  The side of my face that smiles more is on the wrong side.  I look at the photos for a few moments and wonder, "Is that really me?".  It then dawns on my that what I see in the mirror every day is not what other people are seeing.  Just like hearing your voice on that recording.  What other people hear is that recording.  And that's the horrifying bit.  I realise that the face I react to as being wonky, is the one that everyone else sees all the time. 

Hair up (lazily)

That led me to try something out.  I made some comparisons, to see if it's just my imagination.  Does my reflection really look that different to the face that pops up in a selfie?  I mirror imaged a few recent ones from the flattering light of my hotel bathroom.  On the left, what the photo looks like, what everyone else in the world sees.  On the right, the face I'm used to seeing.  I've stared at each picture for some time and I've come to realise that no matter how much I look at the face on the left, I just can't get used to it.  It's like looking at me, but slightly wrong.  Wonky.  I don't dislike it.  Sure, that word "wonky" is still running around my head even as I write this, but it just doesn't feel like I'm looking at myself.  It's almost a relief to look back at the face on the right and see the face I'm used to seeing.

It's peculiar, isn't it?  We trust mirrors to show us we've made ourselves look up to our standard, but in reality, no one actually sees that version, but us.  I find it a little sad I prefer my reflection to the version of me that comes out in photos, but I suppose that could just be that that is the me I am used to seeing.  I certainly see her more often than the photo me.   I think I would rather to prefer the one in the photo.  But then, would I be as happy with my reflection as I am now?  We're told to like what we see in the mirror and maybe if I preferred the photo me, I'd lose that.

So what do you think?  Do the "me's" on the right look as odd to you as the "me's" on the left look to me?  What do you think when you look at photos of you?  Do you prefer the real you or the reflection you?

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