I live in a house with no mirrors.
Alright, to be exactly specific, I live in a house with a single mirror, and it was clearly attached to the wall by a person who does not think of of doing make-up when contemplating mirror placement. It’s barely larger than my hand, and in a place where it can only be used if you’re quite committed to getting a prodigious kink in your neck. It’s also right across from the shower, so most of the time when I see it, it’s fogged up anyway, so it’s not exactly useful.
This is not something that’s particularly new for me… when I was living in North Carolina I was read an article by a woman who went on a no-mirror challenge. I liked the idea, and I was living in a cabin with several other independently-minded women, who were up for participating.
In the place of every mirror we hung a signs with messages like “You don’t need to fix anything, you look great always.”
As I’ve continued my travels, I rarely find myself in places that have mirrors.
I never really noticed this until I was staying in a hotel in L.A.
I have changed a lot in the past year, and I haven’t really noticed, because I don’t see it. I don’t check in with my reflection every day. I’m not slowly conditioned to how I look. I’m not watching the process of change.
Then I was suddenly confronted with mirrors and I realized that my own mental image of myself no longer matches up.
The way that I perceive how I look is stuck back to about a year and a half ago, and…I don’t look like that anymore.
There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a little bit jarring. I think I’m okay with this development, but it’s kind of disconcerting.
My clothing choices are no longer based on “how do I look in this” but “how does this make me feel” or, probably more accurately: “how do I feel like I look in this”.
I think that’s probably a good thing. It’s a bit weird though. It’s this moment when I realize just how clearly my self-image is lodged entirely in my head.
There’s just a lot of power in that.