Upon Reflection

snow

*SPOILER* This is a non-film post (although it was inspired by The Guardian piece ‘What I See When I Look in the Mirror’)

A popular broadsheet newspaper runs a very similar feature but their subjects only appear to be the rich and famous who have made a career implicit on the way they look; I am neither. When I look in the mirror, I see an olive-skinned, blue-eyed child, or teenager at the very least, because that’s the way I feel. Clearly I am not a child, haven’t been for quite some time and as I screw up my eyes and revel in the slight appearance of a burgeoning crow’s foot, I am thrilled. I don’t wish to grow old by any means, and the fact that people rarely guess my age, some would think, is great; that I’m lucky. At least that’s what my older relatives and their friends think. One in particular at the last family function stared at me for most of the evening repeatedly, even incredulously, asking why I had not aged. Most of the time I grin and shrug, other times I laugh and say it is because I am child-free and (more importantly) husband-free. Truth is it’s not great, I feel sort of stuck, forever associated with youth, rarely taken seriously almost patronisingly so. I looked mature for my age at 16 and now baby-faced at 33, a girl can’t win!

The face is heart-shaped, blessed or cursed with a widow’s peak. I had no hair until I was three years old so have always worn it long or as it is now shoulder-length, covering petite ears. The heavy trademark fringe has grown out due to the uncharacteristically warm summer we are enjoying at the moment; my usual dark, dark brunette hue lightened by the sun. A small forehead gives way to eyebrows tweezed and pencilled into shape, I’ve never worn foundation so the skin is usually blemish-free and dotted with a smattering of freckles across the bridge of my nose and over my cheekbones. The fact that I worship the sun (safely) and apparently haven’t really aged is an irony not lost on me, I have moisturised and cared for my skin since I was 14 so maybe that’s it? I am also mindful of how badly I scar and thus a chemical peel in the dim and distant future is just not feasible for me. The eyes are a pale Prussian blue and large, more round than oval in shape and framed with long dark lashes. I like them, They are the windows to my soul, smile even when I do not, and are violet and rather dramatic when I cry. I wish I had more of a defined cheekbone but alas, nature’s collagen means the apples of my cheeks are full, usually a little rosy, and pinchable but I’d rather you didn’t.

The nose is nondescript, smaller than it photographs with wide nostrils, the philtrum is only slightly defined and bridges the gap between the nose and the Cupid’s bow of the top lip. It’s a full mouth which pouts more than it does not, or so I’ve been told, I don’t even realise I’m doing it anymore. The teeth are identical to my father’s, ever-so-slightly crossed at the front and imperfect. I hate to show them but the Dentist tells me they’re fine, imperfection is attractive, plus, no fillings!

All-in-all it’s an alright visage as far as they go; regular, mundane, the usual – two eyes, nose, mouth, etcetera. It’s only regarded as something special to a beholder anyway isn’t it? I have been told my whole life that I look like my father, or my mother or some Hollywood actress (Nana thinks Hedy Lamarr, Mum, Liz Taylor, more recently Lana Wood), even Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter – God bless, my Dad. It is all very flattering, who doesn’t like a lovely compliment, and I smile graciously as you do but you know, I disagree vehemently. Even if I never say it out loud, inside I’m screaming “I look like ME!”

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