What would my mirror say if it could talk? That is the topic for this week’s Think Write Thursday.
What would your mirror say? Would you want it to talk?
In today’s world, it’s entirely possible someone could create and manufacture a talking mirror. The concept seems easy enough: insert a miniature camera or two, add a small processor programmed with a type of facial recognition, and an Alexa-type speaker. Voila! A mirror that recognizes some basic facial expressions and responds with positive feedback.
Talking Mirror: “You look glum, mate. Why don’t you go for a walk to cheer up?”
Talking Mirror: “I see you’re gaining some weight, darling. Time to skip the dessert and order salad dressing on the side!”
Okay, I personally don’t want to see talking mirrors on the shelf of the local hardware store. It’s too Orwellian for me. But I do like the question. Anything that promotes self-awareness or mindfulness is a healthy topic in my world.
So, what would my mirror say?
I’d like to think my mirror would be like Sherlock Holmes. I watch a lot of Sherlock. Love the series.
Mirror: “The first thing I see is her face and hair. She has medium brown hair, obviously colored when one looks at the roots at her part. But it’s a professional color treatment, indicating either a lack of confidence in hair styling abilities or the desire to spend less time on personal grooming. Her hairstyle is plain and she keeps straight hair, which confirms the desire to spend less time on personal grooming as it probably requires little more than a comb and a hairdryer. Thus, she has more time available for other attentions.
“Her makeup is also plain and lightly applied, indicating a certain level of self-confidence that comes with age but also the desire to keep a presentable public appearance. She is wearing a plain cotton shirt and sweat pants, which shows that comfort is more important than public appearance, or could indicate that she is a practical person who doesn’t want to damage good clothes unnecessarily. Her nails are short and clean, and hands are dry, indicating someone whose primary job is housework. Therefore, I’d say the clothing choice is one of practicality.”
Bored yet? Feel free to skip the next parts…
Mirror: “She is slightly overweight but not terribly out of shape, showing that she is probably conscious of her health but likes to indulge. This also points to a childhood raised in a poor economic situation in which food is treated as a reward; a common but lifelong habit that is difficult to break. And since she is not, as pointed out earlier, terribly out of shape, she is likely educated about the benefits of a healthy relationship with food and practices some sort of vegetarian lifestyle in addition to a form of moderate exercise. Walking is preferable, as indicated by the presence of sneakers. Thus, an active, educated woman who is likely to have a liberal political view and possibly meditates.
“She has a relaxed stance, again speaking to the level of self-confidence that comes with a person of her mature age but also indicative of a comfortable living situation. Therefore, she has good relationships with those around her. The minimal amount of facial wrinkles that are common for someone her age adds to the supposition that there is little stress in her life. Also, she is wearing a ring on her left hand, so one can conclude she is married. Add this to her age, low stress and high comfort level and it means she has at least one adult child.
“All in all, she’s a rather ordinary middle-aged woman who lives in a first-world country, most likely from United States by the type of clothing she wears.”
Stereotypical? You can’t hear me but I’m chuckling.
My mirror could be the Mirror of Erised and I hope I wouldn’t know it. At least most of the time. I’m happy with what it says. Although I could lose a little weight.
But I think that’s true of a great percentage of women who reach a ‘certain age’. We have higher self-esteem. If you’re feeling up to some ‘light’ reading about it, check out this white paper: Self-Esteem Development From Young Adulthood to Old Age: A Cohort-Sequential Longitudinal Study. It’s quite fascinating.
It would be wrong to think that we no longer care (except about our weight).
I think women our age have learned to accept the world as it is. We know we can’t change the behavior of others and it’s only frustrating to keep trying. We can’t stop natural events. We can’t slow or speed up time.
We’ve learned we can only change ourselves and use our influence to change the conditions we live in.
In short, we have realized what Mahatma Gandhi put into words many years ago:
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.
The first step towards reaching this realization is when we see ourselves as we really are. I think in our society, that is one of the hardest changes a person can make.
But when one is ready, it’s easy to think about what your mirror would say if it could talk.