Self: Plunging into the Other Side of the Mirror Essay

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Self: Plunging into the Other Side of the Mirror

Only in a mirror do we find ourselves. We cannot do it when we are apart, distanced, from who and what we are: we need to see our shapes, our selves, in the way we cannot see ourselves subjectively. But still, the glass plays with us, contorting and distorting, even if it is nothing more than a straightforward, honest reflection. It is our minds which are the true lenses.

Why do we feel this compunction throughout the ages to look at our own reflections? It is inbred into us; it begins at such a tender age, this obsession with oneself. I never really took much notice of it while I was young, partly because I myself was never overly concerned with my appearance, and partly because my
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Sometimes I wish myself back to my days of oblivion, where I could be secure in my own self-disinterest. Try as I might, I lack the mental ruby slippers, and I wind up falling straight through the gaps in my head. They are loopholes of disgust. I hate myself. I hate my body, my ribcage, my short legs, my muscular frame; I long for Vogue beauty, a runway torso, fashion model features. I cannot reconcile what others seem to see with my own reflection, for she is grotesque and hopeless.

I never look for myself anymore because I know what I will find.

***

I can still remember the fateful moment wherein I saw who and what I was. A blonde child, her hair highlighted by the sun streaming in through the windows, two dimples on either side of her pink mouth, she was I. I knew that. Even though no one had sat me down in front of my childhood vanity and said, "See, Laura, there you are. That other girl across from you is yourself," I tacitly and subconsciously understood.

The girl did not seem to me, at that time in my life, that bad.

Now things are different: I have been affected by society and its continual emphasis on how much thought and energy I should put into my personal appearance. But at least I had that time in my life where I was carefree and contented with myself. A few years ago, I was babysitting two young girls in a small suburb in Loveland, Ohio. The younger, a petite

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