Kaleidoscope Essay

2076 Words9 Pages
Kaleidoscope “Some are transformed just once / And live their whole lives after in that shape. / Others have a facility for changing themselves as they please.” -Ovid It finds its way into my hands—the small kaleidoscope—a trinket my grandfather passes along to me after finding it at the bottom of his toolbox one afternoon. “Hold it up to the light, Lauren,” he advises me, upon witnessing my attempts to unlock the kaleidoscope’s magic by aiming it towards the shadowy pavement. With hands clasped, eyes squinted, and head cocked, I finally spot the colored chips, a glittering lattice of blue, green, and yellow, stagnantly arranged and defined. “Turn…show more content…
She’s left me room for movement, granting me the ability to change, refine, and work towards the completion of an identity she’s begun to put together—an identity that, perhaps, may never meet its end. I cannot help but call to mind Pablo Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror every time I enter the smoky girls’ bathroom at my high school. The girl in the painting stands with arms outstretched at either side of an elliptical mirror, gazing into a reflection that barely resembles her physical form. She is a painted patchwork of curves and colors, an irrationally configured character whose mirror image is even more mystifying in its peculiar portrayal of the girl gazing into it. The mirror in the girls’ bathroom is a simple oblong slab of slightly reflective metal, complete with pings, dents, grime, and scratches. Because of these imperfections, the position you stand at when you look in the mirror is crucial to the way your image appears. Certain areas make your neck long and your head huge while other areas shorten your torso and completely compress your facial features. As I stand there in line, I watch the cult of so-called “beauty queens” before me gawk and gaze at their reflections in the dingy looking glass. Standing there, it becomes clear that these girls are not at all concerned about what they see in front of them; they are not aware that, behind their perfectly coiffed hair and flawlessly
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