mirror3

 

Yes, I know this is a beauty blog, so this may sound hypocritical, but MIRRORS ARE THE DEVIL AND MUST BE DESTROYED!  I believe mirror abuse is causing us to obsess over perceived imperfections, making us feel a bit shit about ourselves, when in reality we are actually quite lovely.

I suffered from mirror abuse when I was surrounded by them at work.  I was a reflectionaholic and spent most of my day up in my own grill, as I stared back at myself with intense scrutiny.  I would work over my face in stages, identifying areas of concern, then I’d try product after product to eradicate them, before considering potential procedures or treatments that could make me perfect.  What a big fat waste of time!  Why?  Because the mirror tells lies.  When you look at yourself in the mirror, you aren’t using your normal expressions.  You are still, serious and you move your face in strange ways to emphasize the things you think  you should be worried about.  Squinting, frowning, insanely smiling or pouting – these are not normal facial gestures, you weirdo.

Back in the 90s, I wanted to be a Supermodel.  I even thought Naomi Campbell’s legs were attainable for little old 5 1/2 foot me…idiot.  I used to pull the dumbest face in the mirror, like I was trying to eat the inside of my mouth while on sedatives, then I’d stand, hands on hips, elbows forward, like they did fabulously in Vogue, but would just end up looking like I had scoliosis and constipation cramps.  I was, by no means, Super.

But seriously, back to this mirror business.  I depressed myself over frown lines, thread veins, pigmentation, pores, nasolabial folds (hee hee), drooping eyelids, neck lines, under eye everything.  None of which I give a rats about now, nor did I care about at the end of the day, when I was finally away from all those mirrors and back into real life.  Where I was free to rationalise that many of my so called imperfections have been part of me since I was a child, some the result of my skull formation, others caused by the ebbs and flows of hormones, and some simply because my face wouldn’t work without them.  Anything else I just helped out with a bit of makeup.

What also kept me in the realms of reality back then, and away from the medispa, was speaking to other women about their own hang ups, and observing that they were all insane, because I didn’t see what they did.  A woman in her early 50s came to me one day with concerns about her pores.  She hated them and wanted a miracle cure or quick fix to make them disappear.  Now, I’m not sure if she knew what pores were, because I couldn’t see them, or at least, they did not look problematic to me, but she assured me they were.  This lady was beautiful, stylish, well groomed, with a sense of humour that made me think she was above all this imperfection obsession, but she was adamant about her pores, comparing herself to magazine images (grrr), as she pushed her face up to the mirror to show me.  I had to pull out all stops.  I took off my makeup.  “Is this what you mean?”, I asked, pointing to the little dotted hollows around my nose and cheeks.  I made us look into the mirror together, to show her that mine were the same, if not bigger, than hers…and then I made us step back, because it was at that moment I realised, you can make your flaws disappear just by moving further away from the mirror.  Step away from the evil temptress and regain your life.  Obsess over something worthwhile and feel good about yourself, damn it!  I could have sold her an armful of products that day, but she didn’t need them.  She just needed to see the truth.

We all have friends, lovers, partners, people who like us and enjoy looking at us while engaging in conversation or intimacy.  They are not seeing the face we see in the mirror – that contorted, frozen or manipulated mug, that doesn’t live up to our expectations of perfection.  They see the real us – animated, soft and open, with sparkling eyes and an honest smile, that probably both have some lines around them, because they’re meant to.  They can see when we are angry or frustrated, sad or tired, without us even saying a word, because the so called imperfections we see when we stand too close to the mirror, are actually amazing tools for communication.  We don’t have to love them, but we should try to accept them.  Stepping back from the mirror is a good start, even smiling at ourselves when we do it, the same way we smile at the people we love.  It’s a whole new way of seeing our true selves and a positive step towards accepting the amazing and beautiful humans we are so lucky to be.

I need to stop now, because if I keep going I’ll end up writing a self help novel and we might run out of internet…pretty sure that’s how it works.  I do hope you get my point though, even if I strayed a little off topic a few times.  Just remember, mirrors are the devil and must be destroyed, followed by halogen lighting and department store fitting rooms, which combine the first two with hideously unflattering results.  The sooner we all get our heads around that, the happier we’ll be.

LISTEN : THE BEAT  Mirror In The Bathroom