When I was in college, my roommate (and dear friend to this day) pointed out to me that I have a “mirror face” – that is, when I look at myself in the mirror, I have a certain critical face that I make. We lived together for two years in college and the “mirror face” became an ongoing joke. No matter who you live with, they inevitably help you see things about yourself that you cannot see. Even now when we get together every few months (she lives about 400 miles away in New York), if she sees my mirror face, she will call me out on it. Sometimes I catch myself doing it and have wondered what it means!

On the rare occasion that I do catch a glimpse of my “mirror face,” it seems to come across as critical and focused. It is truly self-centered while also reflecting my perception of my body. When I approach a mirror, it is to see what my body looks like and also to see what needs to be “fixed” – frizzy hair, clothes bunched in an odd way, smoothing an eyebrow, adjusting makeup. Rarely do I look into the mirror with the attitude of “let’s see how great I look today!” Instead I am thinking, What needs to be improved before I go out into the world?

One of the tips I have read for creating a positive body image involves looking at yourself in the mirror less. If I were to add up the time I spend in front of a mirror, from getting dressed in the morning to every time I use the bathroom throughout the day to brushing my teeth and washing my face at night, it probably only adds up to about 30 minutes out of the day. I wonder what we would all look like if there were no mirrors and we only saw ourselves in the reflections of friends, family, and strangers. When I do look in the mirror today, I am going to be sure to point out one great thing about how I look at the time. What a great smile I have! These earrings make my eyes look beautiful! My skin is clear and even today. I look younger than my age!

Why don’t you give it a try?