Idea of self

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A small attempt to understand the link between mirrors and perception of self


‘It’s been two years I haven’t seen myself in the mirror’ said Aniket Supe, an artist I had an opportunity to meet recently. I had a prolonged conversation on various topics with him but this statement replayed in my mind.

In the following days, I asked few of my friends to not look into a mirror or any kind of reflection of themselves for a day. I asked them to write in their experiences to me. One of the common response was conscious behavior, they felt conscious of every single thing they did. A cluster of them felt totally opposite and loved the experiment, it made them feel confident. One interesting response from few was that it didn’t really matter and make a difference as they hardly care of how they look.

Mirrors being part of daily routine was a common problem as said in experiences. Some people I asked to are still trying the challenge as mirrors are so much part of their daily chores. Applying kajal, phone screens, rear-view mirrors, car windows, glass doors and much more.

‘When we look into a mirror to get ready before we leave, we look at ourselves and try to mould depending on where we are heading to, like on a date, college, interview etc. I don’t want to corrupt the way I look, I wish to be as pure as possible.’ This artist did make sense as the people who got conscious was because they have this perception of themselves to be portrayed, and they wish to look in away and maintain so.

The people who on the other hand felt confident in their minds made that perception and convinced themselves of their amazing looks to feel confident. The bunch of didn’t care and for whom the task was simple have a perception of self stagnant and for them personality doesn’t really relate to what and how they look. Sadly the people unable to do this have  a strong perception of self which they are unable to rethink.

This is a subjective analysis based on the people who did the task for me. This experiment made me believe that the line between inward and outward self perception is thin & so gets more complicated to understand the usage of mirror today. Many people who did this small task for me did say it helped them understand and accept themselves both on the inside and outside. Try it and let me know if it works for you.