I made a little movie on a recent weekend visit to my family. I did most of the filming so I don’t feature much, but when I do, I’m quite perplexed by how I look, particularly how my face looks. I’m always surprised at the way I look in photos – I know it’s me, but I suspect mainly because I’ve learned what I look like in pictures and I remember the photo being taken.
I don’t have a clear image of myself in my head, but even that murky image is not the same as the pictures. Sometimes I catch myself thinking “the girl reflected in that window has the same top as me” before realise it IS me. The ability for self-recognition is there, it’s just not always the first thing I consider. The photo me is also different from me in the mirror. I see myself every day in the mirror when I clean my teeth, but I don’t think I look properly. I can still arrive at work to find a lock of hair that failed to be included in a ponytail or a mark on my clothes that I must have seen but not noticed. So what WAS I looking at? And what else did I miss?
I don’t dislike the girl in the photos, film and mirror. She looks nice enough and she seems pretty friendly when she looks back at me. Everyone else in the film looks like themselves, and in photos too, so it must be me. I guess it means that voice is really mine too.