When my dog sees his reflection in a mirror, he starts barking at himself until I remove his maniacal reflection.
When researchers put lipstick on a primate, the animal wiped off the lipstick when it saw itself in the mirror.
When I look in a mirror, I notice things I want to change about my physical appearance. I notice I need a haircut. I notice my stomach is a bit bigger and my jaw is less pronounced. I hype myself up for the day ahead. I have a dialogue with myself about who I am, what I want, how I’ll get it, and motivate myself to push through obstacles.
This is the difference in our cognition. This is the degree to which we are self aware. It is biological. It is innate.
Some days, the mirror is hazy. My dog continues to bark at himself. The primate still wipes off the lipstick. But I’m not able to hype myself up. I definitely notice my jawline fading. My hair looks like shit. Motivation is garbage too, I shouldn’t have to motivate myself. I’ll never get those things anyway. Let’s just go get something done and come home and play counter strike.
Or maybe, I can just notice that the shower made the mirror a little foggy. I can just wipe off the mirror, and I can see myself as I am again.
Yes my jawline is fading. That’s fine. If you really care about it, you can do x, y, and z to tighten it back up. No self-hatred needed. Just notice the hazy filter over the world, and remove it.
Are your mirrors hazy? What if you cleared them, what if you were more kind to yourself?