Saturday, January 2, 2016

reflecting on the mirror

happy new year!

as many of us do at this time of year, i have been reflecting on the "man in the mirror". (or woman for me, you get it). 3 articles from 2015 have had me rethinking my mirror usage.
no mirror challenge- go without looking in the mirror for a week.

freckles and pebbles - a story about a girl who obsesses over her freckles and how they make her look.
https://www.lds.org/friend/2014/10/freckles-and-pebbles.p1?lang=eng

looking at models changes your brain - the fluid nature of our perception of beauty.
http://news.discovery.com/human/videos/looking-at-models-changes-your-brain-video.htm

with the influence of these three things, i started evaluating my mirror time.

first, i don't spend a lot of time in front of the mirror. i don't wear make-up at all any more. i'm not green or anything, just too lazy. don't have the time, don't have the money, don't want to be chained to putting my face on. my hair does what it wants no matter what i do so i don't waste time fighting with it. i use the hall mirror to make sure i don't have some crazed loop sticking up but that's about it. on sunday i might look at the mirror to check the outfit if it's new. i hope this doesn't disqualify me from having an opinion on mirror usage.  

background in place - here goes -

mr. demille, i'm ready for my close up.
some of our mirror time is close up. for various reasons, we have to get up close and personal with our face. these inspections don't need to be but generally are critical in nature. we scrutinize pimples, wrinkles, blemishes, pores, and so on. what is your conversation with yourself as you get a little personal face time? i noticed that if i look up close more often, i get less happy with my appearance. the up close mirror tends to be critical and therefore lead to a negative toned convo within. in the pebbles and freckles article, a little girl is freaking about her freckles. she keeps getting up close to the mirror and obsessing over those little spots. her mom gives her a rock and asks her to hold it close and describe what she sees. the girls sees a rock, dirt, bumps and all. then she tosses it back in the garden and sees instead the whole picture. flowers, dirt, rocks, a pleasing composition. too heavy handed? back up off your own self and appreciate the whole picture.

the whole picture - many of us are still unhappy with our whole picture too. what about that? this - less mirror time in general. how do you see yourself in your dreams? i know when i am running around in my night adventures, i am in much better shape, have fabulous hair and can do the splits. i can fly too but that's something else. i noticed that when i spend more time in front of the mirror, my dream image begins to more resemble my waking self. you may think that's a good thing and want to destroy my amazing self perception. bollocks to you, i say! maybe positively distorted self images are the answer, or at least part of an answer, to the ever increasing negative, self doubting, depressing, critical outlook we have on life in general. and now to contradict myself - in the study done in the the models changing our brains piece, people were exposed to overweight and underweight pictures and then asked to rate other pictures for beauty. the groups exposed to overweight models for one minute rated beauty in a slightly higher bmi category. if exposing our brains to something for a minute can change our perception, what can we do to ourselves long term? we can start programming our brains to think we are the beauty standard. maybe? worth a try? time for the contradiction - kind of - more time in front of the mirror or maybe just change the time you spend in front of the mirror. when we back up and look at ourselves, we usually just stand there and look for flaws. yes, look for the bra strap sticking out or skirt tucked into the panties first. after you're sure you don't have something in your teeth or some embarrassing wardrobe malfunction, strike a pose girl! work it! oh yeah! do you see those models standing there in pictures the way you stand in front of the mirror? no! you know why? it isn't pretty. turn 3/4 and tilt your head. put one hand in your hair and one on your hip, give your silhouette a little arch and work it like the beautiful beast you were made to be! promise yourself to not ever stand in front of the mirror and frump it up again. forgo the duck lips but give your mirror some awesome selfie action. the more you look at yourself like the model to be sought after, the more your brain will register your look as the ideal of beauty.

no matter what your current mirror relationship, i hope this will cast a more positive reflection on what you see in the mirror.