Mirror, Mirror….

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I’m amazed at how incorrectly I still see myself. I love the freedom of not putting on make-up every day, which has the added benefit of less time in front of a mirror. But every now and then I catch my reflection…one of the elevators in our apartment has a mirror, a store front window with the light just right, or inside a store’s dressing room.

Just yesterday I saw myself and had to take a second look.

I’m old. There is no getting around it. And I’ve aged a lot these last two years. Really, it’s not about my age. At 52 I hope to have many years left, maybe 30 or so. It’s really about my appearance. I admit it matters more than I want it to.

My beauty is fading. It took me almost 30 years or more to embrace my appearance, to just accept that there are many women more beautiful but if I take care of myself and dress myself up from time to time, I clean up ok.

I lived with that settled for less than 10 years before I realized that even that is crumbling fast. The wrinkles are deeper, the discoloration of skin is everywhere, the collagen is melting away and bones show through places that used to be padded. Padding settles where tight young skin used to stretch over muscle.

Oh I know I could work out harder, have treatments and surgeries to improve what is left, but it would be fighting a loosing battle. Thankfully I’ve decided there is something more important than how I look. But it’s still hard.

So much of our time, effort and brain power as women is spent on our appearance. The hopelessness must be great if that is all we have for we cannot hold onto it.

I watched “Snow White and the Huntsman” the other night and wondered how many of us can admit we are more like the wicked queen than we want to see. Envious of the young and more beautiful, focusing on ourselves and the myth that a better appearance can give us all we long for. It’s there in the mirror, if I choose to look.

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