Wednesday, March 11, 2009


We’ve all encountered them before, whether in that local Seven Eleven “closet” they have labeled a toilet facility, or even at times within the walls of our favorite department store. You step up to the sink to wash your hands and fix your make up when all of the sudden: BAM. There it is. The face and the figure that you so appropriately deemed that morning as acceptable…(and yes, perhaps even somewhat enjoyable for the rest of the world to view), have been brought up close and personal to a particular kind of mirror under a particular kind of light, that ends up sending your confidence levels crashing to schizophrenic new lows.

Take for example this dis-heartening, reflection conversation with myself in a local Subway.

"Ms. Jensen. Dry your hands and look up here please. Yes. There you are. Well Well Well. It appears you are a growing a national forest over your upper lip. In fact, we have taken the liberty of re-assigning you a new gender and namesake: Senor Hose is much more fitting.
Also. You were very wrong. That sweater is not your color. In fact we highly doubt that “death vomit” is anyone’s color.
Lastly, you could very well be the first human marsupial. It seems there is a pouch on your gut that could carry around a baby walrus."

Seriously!?? Apparently when the abstinence mirror hits, it hits hard. Who INSTALLS these things?? And why do they always seem to appear right before a hot date, an important interview, or a large public speaking event???

Now what exacerbates the situation with the abstinence mirror, and what I feel is the sole reason for confusion when it comes to a healthy view of self image, is that JUST when one is convinced by a Dunkin Donuts pit stop, that they are the ugliest of all ugly ducklings, one will automatically find herself just days later in front of a strategically placed, “kiss me now” mirror. A new kind of reflection that not only removes doubt and self-loathing, but quite frankly seems to perpetuate the viewer into completely false ideas of uber-hotness.

“Kiss me NOW” mirrors are most often found in places like The Cheesecake Factory or some obscure little bistro off of Damen and Clark. We walk in to re-apply some Lip-smackers Strawberry Blast, and suddenly find ourselves captivated by the woman on the other side. She smiles playfully back at us under dim wattage and convinces us that we are wearing a size 2, when in fact we know darn well we are a 12...

Here is a second dialogue with my psyche, one that took place just a week after aforementioned visage of horror.

"Why hello there Jessica darling.
Were you aware that you are in fact a walking goddess?
Your dinner will be free. You can eat dessert and you won’t gain a pound.
Quit your job. Now. Go into modeling. Tyra will love you. Oprah will interview you.
The stars are in alignment because of your beauty.
This evening waits on your every breath, you gorgeous gazelle you.

Woah. I'm all for self-confidence, but there are definitely limits...
limits that this particular mirror seems to overrun completely.

Conundrum then: With such polarized views of our appearance at every turn, how are we ever to gain a sane and healthy perspective of what we actually LOOK like??? Are we to go about our jobs, social engagements, and daily errands eternally doomed to the ever-changing perspectives that these patronizing mirrors seem to throw haphazardly our way???? Or perhaps we should just give up looking in mirrors altogether and always rely on the honesty of a good friend...

Heck if I know.
But what I DO know,
is that I always carry around an extra sweater,
and a paper bag,
just. in. case.


Georgia B. said...

hmmmmm . . . read my recent post called beautiful.
it was spurred by this very subject. i had found myself being quite pleased with my appearance just last Monday morning when i got ready in my slightly dim-lit bathroom.

but then i got out in the bright sun and realized that age was not on my side anymore in bright sunlight. i looked in the car visor mirror only to discover "you know whats" on my upper lip—clear as day. there are not many, but they there none the less. how could i have missed it? i was so horrified! instead of a paper bag, i keep a razor. :)

oh, Jessi. getting older is so difficult. but i kid you not when i say (as do my friends) that you are one of THEE most beautiful people i have EVER known—from the inward to the outward.

especially by this definition:

the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and mind

i know you did not write this to get this sort of response. but you are getting it anyway. :)

if i am ever half as beautiful as you are, i will be so happy.

Georgia B. said...

Georgia B. said...

don't know why the link's not working.


you can find it.