We all know the fate of the evil step mother that asks the mirror on the wall whom is the fairest in the land and could probably rattle off every step of dear Snow White’s treacherous tale. The rage and jealousy that ran through the veins of Snow White’s step mother was venomous to all that she came in contact with, especially Snow White. Jealousy. Rage. Where does it start?
Throughout our lives we play with our appearance. When we are children we play dress up and pretend we are someone else. We may be trying on an alter ego with super human capabilities or maybe it’s just prancing around in shoes that are much too big, but make us feel like we’ve been transported to a world of grown ups and perceived power and importance. Funny that us grown ups aren’t trying to make ourselves shrink to see what it was like to not have the responsibility of the world on our shoulders. It always seems more liberating on the other side, doesn’t it?
Beauty is everywhere
Outside of childhood, we’ve probably tried different clothing styles, hairstyles, products, and procedures that have led to that image staring back at us in the mirror to look slightly different – always an attempt to be more interesting, more captivating, more beautiful. We don’t seem to give up on this endeavor. Mirrors are all around us whether hung above sinks, adorning doors and hallways, looking back at us from the visor of our cars, or simply windows that provide our own reflection. We can’t help but look. What do I look like today?
I am in awe of individuals that look different every time I see them. No joke. I work with a teacher that has had more hairstyles, hair colors, and clothing changes in a week than I’ve had in a decade. Does she get bored easily or has she simply continued to stay in a frame of dress up and changing her appearance to match her mood or aspirations for that day? It seems like a lot of work. Yet, I do look in a mirror and have thought about how different I might look if I changed up a few things from my makeup to my hair, to a completely different style of dress. Then I wonder – who would I be doing that for? The answer is – for me.
You are always with YOU
Of all the people we will encounter in our lifetime, the one person we will forever be trying to understand better is ourselves. We have an entire life of hearing our own internal thoughts, of seeing ourselves through challenging situations, and joyful moments. We are always observing, thinking, contemplating what and who we are and how we fit in any situation. I think this is why those teenage years are oh so difficult. This is the first time that we start to consider that we’ve got many years ahead of being with ourselves, trying to invent and reinvent ourselves. Some of us get comfortable and try not to look into too many mirrors and others among us keep a mirror in our pockets, catching a glimpse of every expression and practicing for the next. Why do you think selfies are so prevalent? We want to figure out that person in the photo. We want to discover what she’s all about and how to work it so she always looks well-rested and at the top of her game.
How easy is it for you to look in the mirror? Do you do it completely out of habit? Do you do it only when you need to put make up on, dig something out of your teeth (or braces!), wash your face, or otherwise inspect it for things that are unappealing and need to be dealt with before you face another human that will undoubtedly judge you? (says your inner voice)
The thing is, people judge. We have no way of knowing what we will be judged for next or what anyone thinks of us inside their head. That’s okay. Just accept that that’s reality. The part that we don’t always acknowledge is the judgement we hold over our own selves. That, my friends, is the only judgement we have any control over. It takes practice to fully appreciate what you see looking back at you in the mirror. You will compare yourself to someone else you deem as more favorable. You will poke, prod, squeeze, pinch, scrape, scrub, and pluck your face. You will do crazy things with your hair and wear glasses that accessorize your outfit. In the end, this is all done to impress ourselves. Our own standard of what we desire. Be easy on yourself. It may seem cliché, but true confidence and beauty really do permeate from the inside. How you treat yourself and take care of yourself is ultimately what others will see, no matter the new hair color or the amount you spent on that blouse. How you wear anything is held up by what pulses beneath.