Sunday, July 28, 2013

Do You See What I See?

Apparently not.

Clearly, people don’t truly know what they look like or what kind of impression they are making on other people or else midriff-baring tops, stretch pants and large tattoos would never have become as popular as they are.

I remember reading an article several years ago (which, of course, I can’t find now) about back pain and posture. The doctor being interviewed said people will correct how they stand by what they see in a mirror, adjusting until they look “right,” but he could see, when he looked at them from behind, how they were compensating.

I also remember when I was (I felt) early in my first pregnancy. One day, I saw my bus taking off from its stop. I ran to catch it.

When the driver let me on, he gasped, “Do NOT do that!” He could see I was pregnant?

Apparently so. Because I was on my way to see a friend who, when he saw me, exclaimed, “Whoa, look at you!”

 My body had changed shape so quickly, my awareness hadn’t kept up.

I also remember an exchange on the chat boards of many years ago. Someone had asked these New York City young mothers what their greatest regret was.  “Not knowing how beautiful I was when I was younger,” said one. Yup. It breaks my heart to see young women, like my high-school daughter and her friends, worrying so much about their appearance, wanting their hair to be straight when it’s curly (or vice versa) or about how their (insert body part name here) doesn’t look like the ones they see in the fashion shoots.

For most of us, our appearance seems so important, yet we can’t really see it. Odd.


  1. Urban baby was awesome. Is it still there?

  2. If not in a reflection, where is the real image?

  3. I once had a neighbor who was very odd looking (at least to me), She was visiting one day and told me about her new boyfriend. While looking in a mirror at her own reflection
    she shared that "he was good looking- but not as good looking as me." I loved her own assessment- glad what she saw pleased her.

    Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder- and one's sense of self often seems to bear very little correlation to reality. A healthy sense of self, no matter what your age, seems like a great blessing- especially when we are all pounded day and night by images of "physical perfection" in the media.