Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Women and Vanity

While Russ and I were loitering in SM North, I saw two advertisements of Snow White adaptations: one with Kristen Stuart and the other with Julia Roberts. These ads reminded me of the wicked stepmother's line 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?' I found it funny that coincidentally, the night before, I had seen an animation which tackles vanity in one of its episodes. I smirked as I came to a conclusion that I had been surrounded by a 'controversial' topic but I totally took it for granted: women's narcissism.

Women, more than any other species in this world, love to look at their reflection. Wherever we go, we always bring mirror with us. If in case we have forgotten to bring one, which I doubt any self-conscious woman will, we always go on field trips to nearby restrooms. If there are none, which is close to impossible of course, we always find ways to look at ourselves through mirror substitutes like windshields of cars, windows of houses and establishments, spoons, CDs, and lately, phones particularly the dual camera ones.

We check our hair, makeup, clothes, facial expressions, zits etcetera wherever we go whenever we want to. It would have been a normal thing had we, women, stayed that way. But no, we just have to check the reflection of those beside us and compare-you got that right-compare ourselves to them. We check their hair, makeup, clothes, and facial expressions. This habit either makes or breaks our day. If the other woman is prettier, sexier, cooler, then most probably we end up feeling so bad about ourselves. If she is not so pretty, we feel great and confident. Is it then hasty to conclude that mirrors spite envy?

I am not sure if this behavior is what old folks saw in women that they were able to create Snow White or the evil stepmother and pass the responsibility to the Brothers Grimm. If it is, then it is such a shame for us women to be compared to a witch. This makes to-be-like-Snow White even more appealing to us. However, the downside still is as we strive to look like her, we keep on being like the other woman instead. We just cannot stop comparing.

I recall what Sunako has said in Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (Wallflower), the animation that I watched last weekend, that if we could stop trying to be 'ladies' then we wouldn't have any problem. She shares that we only put unnecessary load on ourselves as we keep on comparing our very own miserable identities to 'dazzling creatures.' Therefore, she concludes, that we must destroy all the mirrors in our houses. She proceeds to annihilate all of the mirrors in the house and even trashes the vanity things including cosmetics and perfume.

Isn't it great?

Therefore we only have two ways to solve this prevalent issue. One is to break all of the mirrors at home if we can’t stop comparing ourselves to others. The other solution is stop comparing ourselves to others if we can’t live without our mirrors.

As for me, I will just see the Snow White adaptations and pity the evil Stepmother as much as I pity insecure yet ironically vain women. Then, I will watch Wallflower some more. I can use some optimism in this world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey... miss you and your ideas..... -emed :)