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Of Women and the Mirror Genie

I met one of my close friends and her daughter a couple of weeks ago. Her daughter looked cute with a small bun tied to the side of her head. My friend told me that her daughter loved to look at herself in the mirror. I have heard similar stories about my niece, as well. She is one year old and she enjoys looking at herself in the mirror. I started wondering about what kids see in the mirror, how do they perceive themselves? Initially, they must be surprised to see somebody doing the same actions as they do, later they realize that the image in mirror is their reflection. What happens as we grow older?

As we grow older, we start analysing how the person looks in the mirror. Our brain takes the role of the mirror genie in Show White & the Seven Dwarfs, which told the Queen, ‘Oh Queen you are the fairest in the world’ or ‘Oh Queen you are no longer the fairest’. So what does our mirror tell us?, ‘Oh dear, your nose looks too wide, or you look too stout or your lips are too thin and your chin protrudes out of your face’ and we start feeling bad about our features, which we admired and loved as a kid. We never believe that we are beautiful. It took a man to tell me how beautiful I am. My husband told me, ‘Do you realize how beautiful you are? Didn’t anybody tell you that ?’ I nodded my head in disagreement. Well, my mirror never told me that, it always ridiculed how I looked.  

Even the mirrors of the superstars tell similar things as they do for common women. I read in one of the issues of Femina that Aishwarya Rai used to feel that her eyes were slant and her nose was broad when she was in her teens. That feeling must have subsided after she became Miss. World. Aishwarya Rai was too critical about how she looked. We do not appreciate our beauty, whereas  others have much better opinions about our features.

Dove did a campaign called as ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches’, to prove that women are the greatest self-critics when it came to their looks. Women from different cities around the world participated in this campaign. An experienced forensic artist drew women without looking at them based on the descriptions they gave about themselves. Later, they called another woman, who had short acquaintance with the woman he drew and he re-created the picture of the participant based on her friend’s description. The participants were shown these two sketches of themselves. The difference between the two pictures was enormous. The first picture looked gloomy and ugly where as the second one looked pretty and closer to how the women truly were. This experiment tells us to not take heed of the mirror genie’s words. It always underrates our beauty. We are much more beautiful than we think we are.
More details about the dove campaign can be obtained by clicking the link below.
This entry was posted in: Life


I am avid reader. I am interested in reading adult fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, young adult and children's fiction.

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