We Cannot See Ourselves

We cannot see ourselves- only our reflections (mirrors) captures (photos) and depictions (art). While we can use mirrors as tools, they aren’t accurate representations of what we actually look like. What your brain sees, the mirror reflects and camera captures can be distinctly different. Thus, seeing yourself in a photo (especially if you are used to selfies and filters) can be very surprising. I recommend booking a makeup and photography session to exercise a better understanding of how other people see you.

At the end of a makeup application, I give a handheld mirror to my client to reveal how I interpret their vision combined with their original canvas (face). What they express and respond to reflects so much about how they view themselves. There’s often polarizing emotions for clients wanting to see themselves through professional makeup artistry. Occasionally without even knowing, they passionately desire to transform (catapult into a new persona) while also still find it difficult to part with anything outside of their routine.

I listed to a fascinating discussion by a professor/visual artist who offered portrait commission paintings. She described her experience with clients as “the only thing they were ever sure of was what they didn’t want. They could never articulate what they wanted, and even if they could have done that, there’s no way it would have matched, in my head, what I was going to do for them.” Even on traditional canvas (not on someone’s actual face), the cheeks were “too pink”. Once toned down, they were “too pale”.

During a portrait unveiling of an 80 year old man, the first thing his wife screamed was “Oh, my God- He’s bald!” She was upset he didn’t have hair in the portrait painting, even though he was bald in person.

“People just have strange ideas about what they think they look like or what they should look like. Some clients felt as if they were being shown their mortality if I included a couple wrinkles on their faces in their portraits, even if they have them in real life.” -Clara Lieu (View around the 18 minute mark).

We are composed of so much beauty others have the fortune of viewing. Let them show us!

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