Too often, when we catch sight of ourselves in the mirror we don’t like what we see.
“I look old. Crow feet around my eyes; wrinkles on my forehead..”
“God, I’m fat.”
“What a big nose I have.”
What we mean, really, is, “I don’t look like the Botoxed, air-brushed, Photo-shopped, digitally filtered, half-starved celebrities that are pushed in front of my face everywhere I go.”
Of course we don’t, because most of us aren’t Botoxed, air-brushed, Photo-shopped, half-starved celebrities, although it is true that thanks to magic digital filter fakeys on Facebook, we ordinaries can manage to fool people who don’t know us or haven’t seen us in the last week.
But is that us, really?
In the artwork, Looking Glass Girl, a young woman stops in the midst of getting ready for an evening out to look at herself in the mirror. But she neither critiques her personal appearance nor laments that she doesn’t look like the promoted pop icon of the day.
Her head is tilted, her stance thoughtful, because she is deeply concentrating on the question,
“Who AM I?”
And that, if we are going to critique ourselves in the mirror, is a very good question to ask.
Who am I, really? When I’m all by myself, TV off, phone put away, and somehow able to disengage my thoughts from the propaganda pouring from that TV and phone, what do I think, how do I act, how do I hold myself, walk, smile, stand, move? Even chew my food?
And then, when I go out in public, do I maintain that person, or do I put on a mask, an act, a show in which I — consciously or unconsciously — imitate one of those Botoxed, air-brushed, Photo-shopped, half-starved celebrities who “sing,” “act,” “write children’s books,” “advocate,” “speak,” “represent the constituency,” read off a teleprompter, or perform in some fashion?
That illusion, that impersonator of a manufactured media image, is who we DON’T want to be. It is pointless to waste our time and lives imitating a shadow, and it is to our benefit — the next time we catch sight of ourselves in the mirror — to ask two questions:
Who am I?
And am I being me?
Thank you for joining me at This Woman Writes. I incorporate the artwork of my husband, Steve Henderson, with thoughts on truth, goodness, life, light, and hope. Click on the image in the article to purchase prints or products featuring the artwork. Find all of Steve’s prints at SteveHendersonCollections.com.
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