Today I changed my Facebook profile picture to a recent photo and it’s the bravest thing I’ve done all month. At the age of 33, I’m attempting to accept what I look like right now, rather than clinging on to an image taken five years ago. I feel like I’ve aged a lot in the last year and lately my own reflection causes me to recoil in shock. I no longer look in real life how I look inside my head. Apparently there’s a name for this: ‘midlife mirror angst’. Catchy.
In the reflection that greets me, my teeth appear smaller, my nose more gnarled like an arthritic knuckle and my eyes lack sparkle, perhaps because they’re now so far back in my head that any sparkle gets lost finding its way out. The corners of my mouth, stained from years of hormone spots, drag my neutral face into one of misery. Logically I know that no one else is monitoring these changes, definitely not on the minute level of detail I am. I also know no one else would describe me this way, but all the good bits – the bits people might say I’m lucky to have – don’t register. Something happened when I hit 33; my brain disowned my face.
I am tired of going through the same motions of shock and disappointment every morning as I stare into the small square mirror of my bronzer. I spend so much mental energy thinking about my aging face that I’ve decided to deal with it. It would be too sad to go through life not enjoying the body I live in. The decision to start with my attitude rather than with my actual face is easy. Mainly because I have an image of me as an old lady …read more