20 March 2011

[wo]man in the mirror

I am not going to deny it any longer. Like most people, I am extremely vain. I like to take care of myself and make sure I am presentable. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. It just doesn’t make sense to go out looking like crap. There’s no way of knowing whom you may run into or what may happen during the day. Besides, walking out the front door with mascara running down my face and my skirt tucked up into my underwear is not something I am trying to do.

But there is a phenomenon inextricably tied with vanity: mirror face. We all do it. And it is always hilarious to watch.

For those of you not familiar with mirror face, I will do my best to explain. I have always been vaguely aware of this phenomenon, but my awareness has been heightened since attending a women’s college.

Next time someone is getting ready to go out, or if you are getting ready and are extremely self-aware, pay attention. You can be as creepy as you want during this step, but I have found that observing people is most efficient when the subject is unaware of your probing eyes. That last sentence sounded more normal in my head, but since I have already typed it out, I might as well leave it in. Plus, the advice is sound, despite its stalker-y intentions.

Anyways, from what I have observed, people have a very specific face that they make when judging their own appearance in the mirror. The look varies from person to person, but the objective is always the same: to position one’s face in what they perceive to be their most attractive expression. Some will tilt their chin down. Others will squint ever so slightly. Still others will engage in duckface, simultaneously pursing and pouting their lips. Gets me every time.

Of course, I am not innocent of this crime. I raise my left eyebrow and tilt my chin diagonally down and to the right. No, I cannot explain why I make that face. But mirror face is an intrinsic characteristic in people determined by instinct, not logic. It's science.

See also: photo face, thinking face, singing face, and flirting face

I foresee a social experiment in my future.


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