As Jane Austen said....it is a truth universally acknowledged... that the mirror lies, but the camera tells the truth. Okay...that's not exactly what she said...the second part is all me.
How many times have I checked myself in the mirror and thought...hmmm...not bad for 50 or 55 or (now) 58.
And then, when Hubby and I are at a party, or an occasion, someone, sometime, snaps my picture and I eventually get a look at the result and gasp: "Who is that old fart?" Inevitably, I have my mouth open, talking, looking like I have five chins or no chin at all, waving my hands around and standing or sitting in a most unattractive position. A position that makes me look fat and scrawny all at the same time...with no waist and chicken legs. You laugh?! That is exactly what goes through my head every time I see a picture of myself. Every time. I have never been very photogenic... not in surprise snap shots nor in posed pictures.
Yep, that's me in grade 1. Rolling my eyes and grimacing. Other girls smiled sweetly with dimples. Not me. I'm giving the photographer a look that says "Hurry up and get on with it, cause I have more important things to do... like skipping or doing my spelling homework." The camera always made me feel (and look) uncomfortable... or impatient.
Ah well. I don't look uncomfortable or impatient in all the pictures taken of me. I've become pretty good at taking selfies since I started this blog. Some are even pretty good; some of them I even like.
But seriously, you'd think that by fifty eight I'd get used to what I actually look like, as opposed to what I think I look like.
So where am I going with this? Well, this September I will be attending my 40th high school reunion. Gawd... forty years. How is that possible? And of course I am already trying to decide what to wear. I mean I only have two months... I have to get moving on this!
I will need a couple of chic and casual, 'not trying too hard' outfits, one dressy casual outfit and one dressy-dress. And I'm not sure I trust my mirror to tell me the truth about how I look.
It seems that dresses have been on my mind lately. Mostly because I am on a two week "layover" between camping trips. And when we get back from the bush... I always go a little wild with the girly thing. You know, getting facials, or pedicures, and wearing strappy sandals and skirts or dresses every chance I get.
So I've been trying on my dresses and then taking pictures with my i-pad to see if I like the look. Inevitably, I look in the mirror... hmmm... okay. Then I take the picture... and it's a whole other story.
Like this seven year old Diane von Furstenberg dress. I love this dress and haven't worn it for a couple of years. So I thought I would wear it out for lunch with a friend the other day. Looks okay, I thought. Good, in fact.
Then I took the picture and thought.... Akkkk! My knees are so nobby. And I have no sign of a waist. And the dress looks too short to me.
Now I know that some of this is true. I really do not have a waist, and I've always had knobby knees. But some of it was just me... overreacting to what I actually look like.... as opposed to what I think I look like... in my head.
Anyway, it was too late to change by then. I readjusted the wrap so the dress hung a bit longer and grabbed my BIG Michael Kors bag. That looked a bit better. And so off I went in my DVF dress.
Which brings me to today...when I moved on to looking at the party dress I thought I might wear for the "dressy" event at my reunion. It's a Lida Baday dress that I bought two (or maybe three) years ago for a friend's wedding. I love the dress. I love the shape, the way that it drapes and is kind of rumply and not fussy, and the huge pockets that make it more casual. I put it on and felt great.
Then I took my picture.
Really? Really? I look that wide? Okay... maybe the angle of the shot makes me look wider? You think? And the bare legs with the pumps are not good..and if I were wearing pumps I would wear pantyhose. And not those shoes anyway. I'd need a higher heel.
Then I put on the little jacket that goes with the dress.
Oh jeeze... I was not liking this at all. Okay...so maybe it is a bit more rumpled than it should be...and those pearl earrings are too boring. I need jewelry that is a bit more edgy or bold.
Like these earrings. And a black cuff. Or something.
And I'll lose the jacket and the pumps. And wear my flat sandals. And a pashmina.
Nope. Except for the scarf which I adore... I was not feeling the love for this outfit. I still think that the Lida Baday dress is lovely. It's just me, really. I don't feel lovely in it. Anymore.
I guess I'll have to start shopping for something new. Or maybe with a new pair of "statement shoes" my Lida Baday dress would be... okay. Maybe? But it's just so hard to tell if it's the mirror or the camera which is telling me the truth.
Oh, what to do? What to do?
Still there's lots of time yet.
Like I said before, I don't look uncomfortable or awkward in every picture. I love the one of me below. It was taken in 1985 by my hubby. I'm standing with my fishing rod over my shoulder in baggy jeans on a beaver dam... and I'm wearing hip waders. And I look pretty good. You think maybe there's a lesson here for me? Skip the makeup and expensive colour job? Stop worrying so much about what I'm wearing.... just hang out in ... like, what... hip waders?
Are you kidding me? I was 29 years old, people! We all look good at that age.
So... I guess... that once we get back from our canoe trip next week... I'll probably start looking for a new dress that I can wear to the reunion. Or a pair of shoes that changes the look of my old dress. And I am sure that I'll find something I like and which looks fine.
But undoubtedly during the shopping and trying on process... I will see one thing in the mirror and something quite different in pictures.
So then, tell me... which reflection of me... is the real me? The one in the mirror or the one through the camera lens?