When I was in my fifties, I remember whenever I was asked how old I was, I would give them my age, and the response almost always would be, “wow, you don’t look your age at all”. I would smile, say thank you, and hope I could make it last. But, alas, the battle seems to have been lost. Last week, we were sitting in a restaurant and I ordered from the senior citizen menu and the waitress did not even ask to see my I.D. She just looked at me and visually confirmed that I was indeed a senior citizen. It happened at the movie theater too. Now don’t get me wrong, I am loving the benefits of aging in a society that will actually reward you with a discount for being old. But, I had to deal with some self-esteem issues, so I consulted the mirror on the wall, lo and behold, it was apparent that a visual confirmation is indeed all that is needed to identify me as an old enough woman. The other day though, I was in my local craft store and asked for the senior discount and the cashier asked to see my I.D. I was so happy, I wanted to give her a hug and actually thanked her for asking.
I think, as women, we give the mirror way too much power to control how we feel about ourselves. We dress in front of it, check it several times before even leaving the bathroom, check it again in the hall mirror, and yet again in the car, during and right before we get out of it. We even carry little compact ones in our handbags. If we forgot our little mirrors, we check our reflections in store windows or the front of our cellphones.
I’m not quite sure why we have the need to always be checking to see of we look fine, but, I do have my own theories.One of them, I believe, is to make sure that you approve what you see before anyone else can see it, that way you can make the proper adjustments, more lipstick, smooth hair, and no foreign objects poking out of your nose or eyes. Honestly, what would happen if we had no mirrors? I guess, we would have to rely on the honesty of other people. Oh, heaven forbid.
What if, instead of getting rid of the mirrors, we just got rid of the control it has to tell us if we are the fairest of them all. I am being facetious, I know. But, speaking for myself, and my own insecurities, I feel that if I have done my best to look my best, than it should be good enough for the rest of the world to see. I also talk back to the reflection in my mirror. (I’m really not crazy) But sometimes, we have to remind ourselves that we are beautiful, we are valuable and we can display ourselves to the world proudly because, part of what is reflected in that mirror, is a heart full of love.