|Charleze Theron and the magic mirror in Snow White and the Huntsman.|
Every week I receive my fashion fodder by the post, but often I’m attracted to other magazines because of the articles touted on the cover as opposed to what their stated objective and target audience might be. Such was the case with a recent issue of Psychologies with Audrey Tautou on the cover. I was drawn to the article, SPECIAL BEAUTE: Ce que revele notre miroir, or “that which is revealed in our mirror.”
(Ed. Note: I haven’t yet found the accent marks on my new computer, so please forgive me. I’m working on it.)
As I was saying. . . I think, from a psychological point of view what we see in our mirrors or rather in our mind’s eye, which may not be what is truly reflected, is quite fascinating. The stated intent of the piece is: “. . . understand what unconsciously plays into what we see in our mirrors and finally be able to look at ourselves with pleasure and thus find ourselves beautiful. . .”
The verb “mirror” is from Latin “to admire” — I either never knew that or I forgot one of my lessons from my six years of Latin classes.
Experts, as they are wont to do, pose questions about one’s satisfaction with one’s reflection. According to one study 61 percent of Frenchwomen consider their body an “important part of their identity.” However, only 41percent are pleased with what they see and 21 percent are anything but.
Our French sisters feel as frustrated by the notions of “ideals” of exterior beauty blatantly andsubliminally foisted on us as we do. But, how about this? In 1930 the ideals of perfection were considerably more severe. The size of one’s waist was supposed to be double the size of one’s neck and thighstwice the length of one’s head. Bizarrenest-ce pas?
|Psyche by John William Waterhouse circa 1905.|
Somehow too, we apparently feel as if we are responsible for the “degradation” of our bodies which by extension means the normal signs of age and horror of horrors any laissez-aller in weight gain.
In other words, women are sometimes cruelly judgemental of their faces and bodies and unlike Psyche we cannot see in our reflected image beyond and beneath the surface.
|May the heavens bless Renoir. In 1910 he painted a more voluptuous version of the goddess.|
Psyche you may recall was the goddess of the soul and wife of Eros, the god of love. (She was also exquisitely beautiful, but apparently that is simply a detail to make those intriguing stories of the gods and their problems even more interesting. . .)