Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Same face, different mirror

On the weekend, circumstances were such that I had to spend some time in front of an unfamiliar mirror. I'm not a fan of mirrors. They rate right up there with photographs for me. I can tolerate my own mirror, mostly because it seems to tolerate me. But get me in front of a new, differently lit mirror and, well, it tends to go pear-shaped.

In my own mirror, my face looks okay. Tired, not quite what it was, but okay. Other mirrors, however, seem to magnify flaws. Jowls appear. Wrinkles deepen. Teeth yellow and, good God!, is that a moustache I see before me? A simple teeth-brushing exercise becomes an odyssey of self-reflection - and not the good, meditative, Dalai Lama version.

I have to back away.

Given enough time, I can convince myself that it was all in the lighting. Too harsh. So different from the 50-watt energy-saving (useless) single bulb that currently casts flattering shadows in the Fibro bathroom. I probably look better than that. Really.

But in the back of my mind, I know the truth. It's my face, but not how I like to see it.

How's your relationship with your mirror these days?

[image: antique mirror from TheGildedTassel/etsy]


  1. Yes and I would have thought by now that most swimwear shops would have their lighting sorted but alas NO ! Trying on swimwear is disturbing enough without the fluorescent lights accentuating the motley, transparent blue tones :) (redhead)

  2. no no, bad lighting! trust me - you're gorgeous!!
    But for me, I just tend to never wear my glasses when I'm looking in the mirror - a little blurry fixes all :-)

  3. I don't care to look until I have slapped on the tinted moisteriser.

    At this time of year I feel grey and old and it shoes in my face...

    I avoid mirrors...

  4. This is the one thing I don't care for when going to the hairdresser. Who wants to look at their reflection for that long?!

  5. My relationship with my mirror has gotten better...there were a few days after taking an airsoft shot to the cheek that I didn't like it. :)

    If that picture is you (coming from he-who-is-still-an-egg), you should like your mirror more. And given that these words ARE yours, then that mirror is surely happy to reflect you.

  6. It's so funny how we grow tolerant of the way we look in our 'home mirror'. Our eyes seem to adjust and flip over the flaws to find what we need to see. x

  7. Yep! Know exactly what you mean Allison, though like yourself the 4 mirrors we have in our home, are all relatively small, have subtle lighting around them and don't tend to show up all my flaws too badly.
    I can't stand public toilet mirrors... ergh, death warmed up springs to mind!

  8. I tend to avoid natural light at all costs!
    The rear vision mirror is a picky bitch.
    And those make up mirrors are just evil.

  9. I don't clean them. I have enough angst without being confronted with the brightly lit truth. I prefer my reflection in soft focus these days.

  10. My relationship with the mirror is fine, since the lighting in my bathroom is on the dim side.

    It's when my avid photographer husband takes a photo that I'm confronted with the harsh reality of how I really look.

  11. I always think, "Oh! I guess I better get to bed earlier tonight to get rid of those dark circles!" (Nothing that a little bit of cover-up, or a lot, can't fix!)

  12. OMG, we accidently put the "sunlight" lightbulbs in the bathroom and talk about unflattering. They were quickly removed and replaced with ones with a lovely soft yellow glow that is much more flattering.

    No one needs to step out of the shower and come face-to-face with all of their glory while lit with natural light.

  13. lighting is everything, preferably overhead dim lighting. I love the "last call" moment at bars when you get to see what people REALLY look like....never pretty.

  14. It's obviously a dodgey flipping mirror, Aliison. That's exactly how I look too!! But at home all's fine and well...ish. These mirrors must be dispersed around the countryside just to trick us. I'm sure. My sister's got one in her bathroom. I don't know why she doesn't throw it away. I beg her each time I visit but no, it's still there. Agh! Target's got one too. And a friend's place...and...agh, they're everywhere!!!!

  15. My mirror hates me! At least it must because it's stolen my youth!

    Xo Susie

  16. I love mirrors...from a distance, a safe distance that is. Which interestingly enough seems to be further and further away these days.
    I guess I can only wait until my eyesight starts to go then I won't be able to see the flaws!

  17. I don't have much time for mirrors, home or elsewhere. Perhaps this makes me sound like I don't care?
    It takes a lot of effort to act as though your looks are insignificant. If only we were as carefree as men: a quick face wash and teeth brush in the morning, perhaps a wet hand run through the hair, and they're done.
    I look OK, my boys love me, and that's all fine by me. The mirror can't tell me how I feel about myself.

  18. I'm all right with my mirror but am always appalled when I catch myself in a dept store mirror. Haggard. Not even in the dressing rooms but on the sales floor! Shouldn't they use the best lighting possible to achieve max sales?

  19. I agree, Al! I think you get used to your own mirror and then when confronted with a new one? Eek! It must be to do with the lighting! I find if I look at myself in the mirror without my reading glasses on, I'm fine, but if I peer at myself up close through my glasses? Eghad! And don't get me started on those hotel mirrors that magnify your pores x50! Yuck!

  20. There is a lot to be said for bad lighting! I can totally relate.

  21. Mirrors are not my best friends, but still, sometimes I find you can deceive yourself with the right angle/lighting. Photos, however, are unforgiving. I have so few photos of myself because I can't stand to see how the camera - and the world - sees me. Yuck!

  22. I give mirrors a cheeky grin and that often cheers them up so they try harder to reflect the real me....

  23. Oh Alison! This is a post that reaches right into me.
    The mirror and I have never been the best of friends. Actually we've never been friends. I have next to no pictures of me from school age until motherhood. No pictures of my first pregnancy.
    I just have to simple admit I'm not all that crash hot with the way I look.
    Shortly after I had Bluey I MADE myself have pictures with him, I knew i'd regret otherwise. I eventually came to the understanding of "Well it's all downhill from here, may as well take picture's while you're young!"
    I'm no camera whore, but I just do it and know that maybe in another 20 30 40 years I will be happy I did.
    Mirrors and I?
    Do you know how long one can go without looking in the mirror? For me it's 10 days. Yes. 10 days where I did not catch my reflection, I just hoped for the best.
    What is it about mirrors that see right through you?

  24. I don't have a lot of time in front of the mirror these days. A quick eyebrow pluck from time to time is about all. I think I have found that mirror that grows moustaches before your eyes though. What is with that? x

  25. Every once in a while I'm surprised that everything looks okay. But usually I feel that I have an odd shaped unflattering head. It is magnified by having to pull all my hair back for work because it's in a factory that makes sugar free candy. I don't want my hair flying about there.


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