What I see

Unlike the real world, the internet allows you to sometimes come across amazing things you weren't even looking for. Yesterday I came across the What I See project, and I ended up on there for hours.

The site contains short video clips, documenting what women around the world see when they look in the mirror. My only criticism is that I think it would be far more interesting to include men in the project. I'm sure it's not just women that have the ability to look in the mirror and articulate what they see and how their reflection makes them feel. Nevertheless I decided I wanted to join in.

So, what do I see when I look in the mirror?

I see a faint trace of freckles that only came to the surface during sunny days long gone. I see pink cheeks, always pink cheeks. I see long nails that remind me of my ability to exercise willpower on rare occasions. I see dark circles under my eyes, a permanent feature irrelevant of how good my previous night's sleep was.

I see a face that is somewhere in-between losing its youthful sparkle forever and starting to show age. I wish I saw the faces of my family, but I don't see anyone, really.

I see skin lovingly plumped by skincare products handed down by my mother after I showed up at home a month ago with a suitcase lacking in moisturiser (an unthinkable crime, it would seem).

I see thin hair - one of few things that I'm not used to seeing. My once thick hair that I took for granted has been gradually thinning, a side effect of stress I haven't exactly welcomed.

I see a face that hasn't suffered to the hands of alcohol for two years now, or meat for countless years. A face whose only vices are chocolate and worrying in serious quantities, but rarely simultaneously.

I see someone coming to terms with the transiency of life. The belief that things can and do change is slowly starting to sink in, because what's the worst that can happen in a life that flies past without leaving a dent on the world?

Despite my future being uncertain, I can see my natural expression begin to warm as I relearn the virtues of being calm and positive. There's the kind of sparkle in my eye that can only come from a recent and slight shift in perception. The stubbornness that's been with me all my life is very slowly starting to melt around the edges.

I see something that looks like assuredness in my eyes - is it despondency or is there a glint of something much better than that? I see the one side of my lip in a slight smile, which is how it naturally falls when I'm subconsciously thinking of something that makes me happy. Or when I'm in public, trying to combat Bitchy Resting Face.

I used to look in the mirror and wish I was skinnier, prettier, taller. But for now, those thoughts are long gone. My mind doesn't have the room to care anymore, and it's a freeing feeling. I'm happy with how I look now, but some days I do miss my younger years, when my thighs were all my thoughts were consumed by.

The face I see in the mirror is a resolute one - there's a wavering smile but that can be worked on. It's a face that's learning, growing and appreciating much more than it used to, including itself.

1 comment:

  1. This project is awesome. I agree though, men should be included too! A lot of men have exactly the same hang-ups as we do about our bodies. x