MIRROR, MIRROR – Marilyn Armstrong

The Most Beautiful of Them All?

I never — at any point in life — looked in the mirror imagining for a moment that I was the most beautiful of all. All what?

I knew I wasn’t the most beautiful anything. At my best, I was interesting, sometimes eye-catching. Frequently just different. I never looked like everyone else, except maybe all the other members of my family.

I remember going to my uncle’s funeral, looking around and seeing me, me, me, me. Everywhere. Some version of me. My cousins, aunts, parents. Everyone looked a lot or a little like me.

Now, I look in the mirror to see if I pass. Do I look truly hideous or just kind of old and tired?

I don’t look anything like I used to look. My face is a different shape. My hair is different. My eyes have sunk deeper into my skull.

Humans don’t always look the same, you know. We evolve. That’s how it’s possible to look exactly like your father when you are three, but exactly like your mother at 30 … and remarkably like your uncle at 50. It should be obvious if you stop and think about it. If we didn’t keep changing, we would be born with an old, adult face. Which you must admit, would look pretty strange.

I’ve now passed the point of looking like my mother. By the time my mother was my age, she was dying. Which I, apparently, am not. Garry no longer looks like his mother or his father, but some peculiar combination of both, depending on what look he has on his face.

I suppose I don’t know what to make of me anymore. At least other people still recognize me when they see me. That’s something, right?


Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror

by michelle w. on January 22, 2014

Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances? Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED.

It took a lifetime, but what I see is me. It’s not just a reflection. It’s what I think I am, what I feel I’ve become. I look a lot like my mother, but not my mother. My face is older, much older.


Cancer added a lot of years to me very quickly. I transformed from looking younger than my years to looking older in a matter of weeks. It was a shock, but I have come to accept it.

marilyn in the mirror - 2

I’ve come to accept me, though there is much I would fix if it were practical to do it. Photoshop for real life? So this is me. In the mirror. What I have become. Not done with life, but far from the girl I was.

Other Entries:

Strange Self-Portraits

It was a runaround day. Doctor, other doctor’s office, pharmacy, grocery then home, cooking, editing. Somewhere in the course of events, I took a few odd pictures. By odd, I mean strange in the sense of peculiar. This series is a set of self-portraits taken in the lady’s room in one of my doctors’ offices.


Why? Because it seemed impossible to get an interesting or attractive picture and therefore, I had to try.

I was there. It was as unattractive a room as I could imagine. Nothing to recommend it. It’s dullness made it interesting. Looking in the mirror, thinking what a drab, unpleasant room it was, all harsh angles and old semi-gloss paint. I wondered if I could make interesting pictures in that environment.


Ugly industrial fixtures, fluorescent lighting. Dull, faded paint. No architectural features. The room was a box. No shadows, no angles to work with. It doesn’t get less interesting or non-photogenic that this.


The interesting thing? Me, my camera, and what — if anything — I could make of it. As to the results, you may judge for yourself.