Mind

Mirror schizophrenia

* It’s not my intention to stigmatize or offend anyone with any mental illness. This article is purely written out of my own experience. I don’t state any facts. I solely describe my personal situation and the feelings I’m experiencing. 

I’ve got a weird relationship with mirrors. And mirrors with me as well, I believe. All of them show me another Anna. And that’s confusing to me. I just want to know how I really look, and therefore I’ll need a mirror. It’s the only way to get a clear vision of what I look like. It may sound vain, and it probably is, but I check myself in every mirror I see. And when I’m around others, I do this very discreetly. I take a quick glance and continue with what I was doing. If I’m alone, I really take time to look at myself. And every time I feel like I have some sort of mirror schizophrenia.

There’s a mirror in my gym and every time I take a look at myself in that mirror I think: “Girl, what are you doing here? You don’t need to be here, you’re a badass ripped fit chick.” In that mirror I look so lean. But in that same gym is another mirror, in the dressing room. If I look at myself in that mirror, things are way different. Then I think to myself: “Thank God you’re here, ‘cause you’ve got a long way to go. You really gotta lay off the booze, run a few extra miles on the treadmill and go to the hairdresser , ‘cause you look terrible.” I also experience such a perception shift when I go to work in the morning, wearing a killer outfit. As soon as I arrive at the office and I check myself in the mirror I think:  “Where did it all go wrong? This outfit really needs to be on the outfit-blacklist because I  definitely got it wrong here.” Because of such experiences I developed a very specific mirror preference. There are some mirrors which I deliberately avoid, because they don’t show me a very pretty image of myself. I don’t even glance at them, those jerks. But some mirrors, wow, if I see myself in those I would almost do myself. You probably think that the next thing I’m about to say is a lie, but you can find such a mirror at Aldi supermarkets. Not the most sexy setting, I know, but the mirrors they’ve got there! Other mirrors should follow their example. Plus, taking a small walk through the Aldi supermarket will enhance your confidence anyway. Try it! You’ll walk out of there as if you’ve just received the news that next year you’ll be one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels. Instead of Doutzen Kroes.

Mirror selfies anna

The sweater

To reinforce this story, I made one mirror-selfie every day for one week, in the same sweater. And yes, that means I wore the same sweater seven days in a row. If you shower every morning and use loads of deodourant, it is doable. Let’s just say it was for a good cause! After looking at the pictures below, you can judge for yourself whether I’m crazy or whether there is some truth in this story. Anyway, during this project I noticed that taking mirror-selfies is much harder than it seems. Although everyone on this planet is taking selfies, there still is such a huge taboo about it as there is with masturbation. Without any shame we post one selfie after another, but we all make sure no one sees how this selfie was made. There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught while taking one, seducing your phone screen with a duckface. Luckily, no one saw me taking any of these mirror-selfies, but that took a whole lot of planning beforehand. Look left, look right, left again. Coast is clear: click! But then there’s another thing I noticed: my selfie-pose is in need of some adjustments. On every picture I look like I slept under an open window, my neck kinked to the right (for you left). But that is something I’ll work on! I’d like to end this analysis with a positive note, which is that this Colorful Rebel Cactus sweater is equally sexy on every picture. Definitely not an item for the outfit-blacklist.

Just curious, am I the only one who’s experiencing this kind of mirror schizophrenia?

Mirror selfies anna

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Comments

  1. Nabiha

    I really urge you to rethink the title of this post. Using a serious (and debilitating) mental health diagnosis for anything other can be quite thoughtless, and stigmatising.

    • Anna

      Hi Nahiba,

      It was never my intention to stigmatize or offend someone with a mental illness. I’m sorry to hear that you feel offended by the title of this article. I feel that when people read this article they understand that I am not trying to make fun or offend anyone.

      All the best, Anna

      • Scallywag

        Hi Anna,

        I definitely understand you aren’t trying to offend or poke fun but I have to agree that it should be changed. I totally support the message (why DO we feel differently in different mirrors?! I always feel so much better in my bedroom than bathroom one for a start). However, firstly, I don’t feel you need to mention a serious mental illness to make that point.

        Secondly, you are actually talking about the wrong mental illness. You’re trying to imply that the mirror ‘has multiple personalities’ but that is a completely DIFFERENT illness (Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, not related to Schz, also very serious but much less common). In doing so you further the stigma associated with Schz and other mental illnesses by perpetuating false understanding of them.

        I really like the underlying message of the post but the use of the language turns me off it. As you are writing for a website that embodies a healthy life, which includes mental health, I’d urge you to change it to remove the references to mental health disorders.

        With Love,
        Scallywag (aka Fiona) xo

  2. Marina Fuentes

    It happens the same to me. I hate the fact that in one mirror I look like I should lose fat and in another I’m really fit. I don’t understand :((

  3. DevilInSoul

    I can totally relate to this and I also tend to have moments when I can stare at myself for hours and those when I can’t even look into the (even the same) mirror :D. Love the article! 🙂

  4. Michelle

    Leuk artikel! De discussie over de titel doet me denken aan de zwarte pietendiscussie, zou het lekker laten staan!

    Dat was het, ik ga nu naar de Aldi! 😉