I spent three months in Tanzania while in college. I loved it, it was completely magical. I shaved my head while I was there. Why? Because I was an experimental college student. I loved it, it was so freeing.
Also there were no mirrors. I only had access to one mirror the whole time I was in Tanzania. It was behind our bath house. So after we came in from weeks on safari I would run back there pluck the undergrowth on my eyebows, scratch my head and move on. I also grew out my leg and armpit hair....but that's another blog.
When we came back from Tanzania my friend that I had travelled with covered the mirror in our dorm room with a bright orange cloth. I remember her doing it and saying something like,
"Yech, mirrors," as she pinned up the cloth. I remember admiring her bravery so much. One thing about going in and out of poverty ridden countries and going without is that when you come back to America you have to decide what overindulgences you are going to dive right back into. I remember noticing upon my return that there were mirrors everywhere. In every gas station bathroom, all over people's houses, and even in the sunshades on our cars. There weren't mirrors in bathrooms in Tanzania.
I haven't lived in a house with a full length mirror in years. I would stand on the edge of the tub and kind of wiggle around to get a sense if something looked good on me or not. I've not sought out to buy one because I guess if it looked good on me in the dressing room it should still look good, right? They're also expensive.
There are mirrors all over our little section of this dorm that we are living in presently. THere is one on the wall in every room, there is one inside the door of my closet, there is a full length one in the hall, and there are several in the bathroom. I catch a glimpse of myself constantly.
Since we moved here I have become increasingly dis-satisfied with my appearance. I hae begun feeling that I am gaining weight. I have become dis-satisfied with some of my clothes that before I thought looked fine.
It's the mirrors.
Where before I could go many hours without my eyes appraising my appearance, now several times a day my eyes glaze over a reflective surface. I see curls that didn't curl quite right. I see legs that need a better tan. I see thighs that need to run more miles. I see a muffin top that I didn't think I had.
Maybe I should jut close my eyes when I walk around? Ignorance is bliss, I guess.