Eye of the Beholder

I posted these two pictures on Instagram about two days apart. Both times, I did it because I had time to kill and nothing else to photograph. The one on the left had the caption “Waiting for the bus is megasuperawesomefun.” The one on the right, I had captioned, “I look really friggin’ weird without glasses.”

I posted it without thinking, because that’s usually how I roll on the internet. I went off to my friend’s birthday dinner and came back to a bunch of comments that all said “Oh no! You look beautiful!”

And that’s lovely. Really. But I didn’t post it fishing for compliments. I swear.

I have an image of me in my head. It’s the first picture. It’s with glasses. I’ve had them since I was eight. When I don’t have them on, my vision is so poor, I can’t see what I look like. I just see a blur. So in my head, it’s all glasses, all the time.

When I saw the glasses-less picture, my immediate thought was exactly what I posted: “I look really friggin’ weird.” And I’m pretty sure everyone took that as a bad thing. It isn’t.

In that photo, in my opinion, I look… not like me. Not in a bad way–it’s still my face, and my face is, well, my face. But it isn’t the face I’m used to seeing, both in the mirror and in my mind’s eye. I’m almost always “the girl with glasses”–the nerdy girl with glasses, the quiet girl with glasses, the funny girl with glasses. You see the pattern?

People identify certain ways. This applies to both personalities and the appearances. When you’re faced with an image of yourself that doesn’t match your personal view, it’s weird. It may not necessarily off-putting, but it can throw your balance a little bit. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It may even be a good thing. I think I look quite nice in the second picture. Weird, but nice. It’s a different look for me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that weird and different aren’t bad things. They are often the start of a new and amazing direction. No, I’m not saying that me ditching my eyewear is going to revolutionize anything. I’m saying that weird and different, no matter the scale, should be embraced. Seek it out. It may improve things.

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About Anna

Lots of things make me happy. Running my mouth is one of them. Another is pie.
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