October 7, 2009

Mirror Experiment-Day 1

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 8:12 pm by kellyfdennis

blue-mirror-glass-building-100107185Ok, so Day 1 isn’t technically over yet, but I won’t be in the mood to blog later (this I know about myself). So here are my reflections (pun definitely intended) on “no mirrors”.

First, I feel compelled to mention that I do realize that appearance has importance in our society.  We are judged and we judge others based on  appearance, almost instinctively.  The purpose of this experiment is to determine just how much we obsess over appearance and how much that obsession gets in our way.

I discovered that I am exposed to many mirrors during the day.  I covered the ones I use most at my home.  However, I quickly realized that I would not be able to cover all the mirrors I use in a day (the rear view mirror in my car, for example!).  I also did not cover the mirrors at work.

Getting dressed without mirrors didn’t create feelings of anxiety for me.  I could look at my shirt and slacks to determine if lint (or other things that didn’t belong) were there.  So far, so good.  Of course, I had picked an outfit that I have worn before which I like.

Next came doing my hair.  I have short hair that pretty much likes to do its own  thing, so I dried it with the hair dryer by feel.  Ok, so this was when a little bit of …hmmm…nervousness maybe, came in: I have a clump of hair in the back that likes to stick up.  Was it sticking up?  I couldn’t tell, so I put more gel on it to make sure it stayed down.  Surley, I thought, someone will tell me if it’s sticking up.

Make up..hmm…had to cheat here and get out a little compact to do eyeliner…didn’t want to poke my eye out after all.  I put the compact away (without checking for sticky uppy hair) and put on my mascara. A little more apprehension here:  Did I have the same amount on both eyes? (Maybe I should do a “no makeup” experiment sometime.)

Brushed my teeth, flossed…ok that was easier no mirror required.

Walked to the door to leave for work and instinctively looked to my right (we have a mirror there which I had covered). Ha! Can’t check myself before I leave.

Got in the car, looked in the rear view mirror to back up.  I caught a glimpse of one eye…mascara seemed ok, resisted the urge to check for sticky uppy hair, although the urge was pretty strong.

Got to work, waited for comments, none came…I thought to myself, “I must not look too out of the ordinary.”

The time between getting to work and lunch was pretty uneventful, mirror-wise.  I didn’t really think about my appearance or the experiment.  Then I went to eat lunch…you’ll never guess what I brought…casserole with spinach!  UGH! I remember thinking, “Now what am I going to do…no mirror to check my teeth after spinach!” I really did have to think about this for a minute.  I”m a therapist afterall, and who wants to sit across from their therapist when she has spinach in her teeth…how distracting! I decided to eat the casserole (the other option was to go buy something to eat, which I didn’t have time to do).  I drank some water and “swished”, ran my tongue over my teeth…it didn’t feel like anything was stuck.  Ok, I decided to move on…surely, someone would tell me if I had spinach in my teeth.

I went to use the bathroom at work (there is a mirror in there). I looked off to the side as I was washing my hands, but I gotta say that the urge to look was very strong! That sticky-uppy-hair and spinach-in-the-teeth thing was getting the best of me! But in the end, I resisted. Whew!

I saw the rest of my clients for the day and then headed out to my car to go home.  As I sat in my car debriefing from the day, I rolled my shoulders and instinctively looked up..right into the rear view mirror! I quickly looked away, but not before I had seen my reflection!

My thoughts: This is really more difficult than one would think it would be. I realized that I think about what others are thinking about my appearance.  I also realized that my “professional” persona and appearance are connected for me.

So how’d it go for you?

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