We all have photographs taken from angles that we never see ourselves from. Generally, you look in the mirror, check your hair and make-up, tilt your head to your ‘best side’ and you’re on your way. And when you have it your way, when someone takes a photo of you, you're ready with your classic photo face (the one you practised in the mirror) that may look a little silly in real life, but baby, the camera loves it.
But every now and again someone comes along and takes a cheeky photo of you mid conversation with someone, half way through a tequila shot, or just living your life minding your own business... And they catch that angle that you never focus on; the one you never spend time looking at, the one that you don't necessarily 'like'.
For me it’s a profile shot, seeing the side of my face and seeing my stomach from the side, it really shocks me. When I can help it, I stick to showing the left side of my face, and my belly front on, making merrily living my life pretending the other angles don’t exist very easy. I don’t have to look at them, they’re not there...
Until of course, someone comes along and catches you unaware with their camera, or worse you find yourself underwear shopping in those horribly lit changing rooms that are so unflattering they would even make Rosie Huntingdon Whitely feel a little down. BTW. WHY DO THEY LIGHT THEM LIKE THAT???!!!! It’s such a specific level of sh*tty it’s almost a talent... Anyway, back to my point. If you are anything like me, when you see this part of you that you’re not used to seeing, you find yourself embracing some quality self-deprecation time.
But what if we spent more time looking at those bit that we're not used to, that we don't like? Gave them a chance... Are they really that bad? When I first came across Pretty Normal Me I was completely inspired and spent a lot of time questioning many aspects of self and society and I had this idea... What if we spent a few hours, alone, in a room surrounded by mirrors? Four walls and maybe even a reflective floor?
So many girls I know have no idea what there ‘Foofs' (as Emily calls them... I say ‘fanny’) looks or even really feels like, which when you think about it, is kind of strange. I don’t know any men who can say the same about their genitals and the areas surrounding!! Seriously, it may just be the guys I hang out with but they LOVE their willies, so much so that they seem to spend the first 15-18 years of their life with their hands constantly down their pants. Girls are told to stop doing this very very quickly when they start doing it as toddlers. No surprises that so many of us don’t spend time in that area.
What journey would we go through if we gave our bodies time... Got used to the ‘bad bits’... Got used to ourselves? Maybe there could be an envelope in the corner that you open after an hour with questions and ideas to encourage thoughtfulness, not necessarily directing you towards self kindness, but allowing it as an option?
Even the idea of spending time in a room without any phones, clothes or belongings sounds like a refreshing and an important experience, giving yourself time. I think it would be an intriguing experiment and I would like to call for anyone with a room that could support this project to lend us a hand. Maybe someone with a shop with surround changing room mirrors?! And preferably heating...
In the meantime, why not give it a go yourself with a single mirror? If you, please do write to Em and tell her about your experience.