Anyone who knows me knows that I am rubbish at looking in the mirror. It’s not that I can’t do it, it’s just not something that really enters my head on a day to day basis. A lot of my colleagues can vouch for that from all the times I’ve turned up with my hair not brushed, or pen on my face (You don’t know shame until you have delivered a presentation to over a 100 people still proudly displaying bed head!).
I’ve not always been this way, as a young teenager I was pretty obsessed with my reflection. I’d spend ages in front of the mirror, often in tears, wishing my nose was smaller, my lips were bigger and that I was skinnier. I’d carefully apply makeup and fret about my hair looking just right. I was never happy with how I looked. I was not skinny enough or attractive enough neither did I feel I looked old enough.
As I got older I started to take drugs, got a heroin addiction weighed only 5.5 stone and I avoided looking in the mirror. You see every time that I looked in the mirror, it never really felt that the person looking back at me was me. It didn’t quite tally with the person that I thought I was. Or of my self image in my head.
I moved forward in life, I got clean and put on weight. Had two babies, put on 7.5 stone, lost 5 stone. I’ve had blonde hair and dark hair, long hair and short hair. Never has the reflection in the mirror looked right. Never have I thought it reflected the real me.
I’m currently the skinniest I’ve been for years, I know that I look ok, on the outside. I’m not the best looking, I’m not the worst. I’m actually fairly comfortable in my skin. If I was given a gift voucher for a cosmetic surgeon I’d not really know what to do with it. No part of me bothers me that much, unless I focus on it. Which by avoiding mirrors I don’t.
The thing is, the reflection in the mirror isn’t me. I look at the person staring back and she seems ok. Not perfect but she doesn’t look like the self conscious and self doubting woman I know myself to be. She looks normal and in control and carefree. And that isn’t a reflection of how I feel that I am. It’s not how I see myself in my head.
A friend of a friend recently told me that I was the cool kid at school. The one people were in awe of because I was a rebel and knew what I wanted and where I was going (straight into an abyss by all accounts). Today people seem to think I am competent and know what I am doing. obviously they are seeing the same person as I see reflected in the mirror in my bedroom, I wonder how many of them know that they are not seeing the real me?
Because externally anyone can look ok. It’s inside us that counts. The most beautiful person can be evil and the ugliest and fattest can be a generous and amazing person. I wonderhow others see themselves, compared to how I see their reflection. I think that’s more important than beauty, because looks can be deceiving.
There are a lot of reasons that I don’t bother looking in the mirror and none of them are to do with me not caring how I look.