Reflected Addiction – Blogfest

When I read that August McLaughlin would be hosting Beauty of a Woman Blogfest on Friday, I just knew I had to join the party. Last September, I wrote a very personal account about my sick relationship with a magnifying mirror. Now this was no ordinary mirror, but one that I picked up at a garage sale  because someone else was most likely trying to break their addiction. This evil 20x magnification mirror should have been destroyed, but instead I bought it for $2.00…. Since my only commenter was the GoodGreatsby, I knew he would be a sport and wouldn’t mind if I posted it again.

illustration looking in magnifying mirror

Last fall, when my 19-year-old daughter informed me she didn’t want to take her magnifying mirror back to college since she would stare at almost non-existent blocked pores and proceed to unblock them, it made me think. “Whoa! I don’t know if I could give up mine.” Then it hit me. “Am I addicted to the magnification like a junkie in a back ally? Would I be crying out for a fix at the end of the day?”

That horrid instrument of ego destruction has bound me to my cast reflection more times than I care to admit. Blocked pores have been the least of my concern since gazing for the first time into a high-powered tool mounted on a wall of a hotel. It nearly ruined my vacation! My epidermis seemed like an alien landscape complete with pot holes, peaks, and valleys. “How could this be my skin?” I thought in horror.

Years have gone by and the slow deterioration of my close-up vision has hastened my growing addiction to my own magnifying mirror. The fear of errant nose and eyebrow hairs, as well as failed attempts at applying eyeliner has kept me glued to this specialized looking-glass.

“Come on! For God’s sake you don’t need it.” With that thought, the intervention began. I took one last look, careful to tweeze any unwanted hairs for I did not know what fate awaited me in a brave new world that didn’t include enormous image inspections. Sobered by my decision, my heart began to race as I anticipated life without it. Gazing at my enlarged reflection had been like having my nose pressed up to my own image on an IMAX movie screen. I had become numbed to scrutinizing my moon-like surface with small wrinkles that appeared like huge crevices among my crater-esque pores. My self-image had been bruised and battered over the years of self-examination.

At that moment I split in two. The strong-willed tough Susie said, “It’s time,” to the pitiful wimp inside of me which sighed while taking one last look. Then I picked up the offending tool of terror and placed it on a high shelf where it could be forgotten.

The next morning I peeked into my old free-standing mirror. “Geez! My head is really tiny!” I thought. My entire body part fit inside the small mirror! I applied my make-up somehow without looking like a cast member of A Rocky Horror Picture Show. I stood back, smiled at my reflection and said, “I can do this!” (Of course I may have looked like Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter and didn’t know it.)

That evening went well too, but I tried a new gizmo that started my demise. I had purchased a battery-operated skin buffer at the grocery store. “What a deal!” I thought, “A good sanding is what my skin needs.” My fatal mistake was made when I used the granulated cream that came with it. I always have an allergic reaction to anti-age creams, but for some ridiculous reason I get it in my head that this new miracle cream will be, “The One!” – Angels sing in background –

The next morning I looked in the mirror and even though a pinhead-sized reflection stared back, I could see that my skin had begun to react. A rash had formed, only now I could not execute the usual recon. It just about killed me to ignore the magnifier to see what devastation had arrived in the wake of the newest anti-age treatment, but I was strong.

I strode by that high shelf and did not glance over at the mirror once that day! I treated my ravaged skin the best I could;  in braille.

I had to go to a party the next night. By then the redness and peeling had taken over my entire cheek. What would I do? I tried to cover it up, but could not see what I was doing. I was weak. Weak I say! My 20x magnifying mirror barely had any time to collect dust on that high shelf before I grabbed it and plunked it down on my counter with a resounding, “Bang!” Armed with caulk, filler, and paint I began to reconstruct a somewhat presentable version of myself before going out although I hung my head in shame for the addiction had raised its ugly head and I had fallen off the wagon.

The cold turkey approach shocked my system. Like so much we experience in life, moderation is the key to balance. 

I am happy to report that I have left that nasty mirror alone on the shelf for months now. Seeing my shrunken pea-sized head staring back at me is no longer a surprise. I have a better self-image knowing this is how everyone sees me anyway! If I need a closer look, I am satisfied with a 3X magnifier. It’s good enough.

After all, beauty is only skin deep…

Be sure to go to August McLauglin’s blog tomorrow and check out Beauty of a Woman Blogfest. She is giving away prizes including an I-pad!
Should I donate my 20x magnifying mirror or destroy it?
Are you trying to give up any bad habits?

79 thoughts on “Reflected Addiction – Blogfest

Add yours

  1. I recently bought a 10x mirror, and looking into it is truly a horrifying experience. I can’t imagine what would happen if I saw my 20x-magnified reflection — I’d probably never leave my house again.


  2. I have a 10x mirror.. I use the regular mirror to pluck any “unsightly’s” and then I go to the 10x and every time I scare the crap out of myself when I look at the reflection.
    I mean, really. Does anyone look at me with 10x vision?


  3. You know Susie.. I no longer have a full length mirror.. just a small bathroom one that helps me pluck my chin hairs like the one I wrote about in my blog.
    I just do not want to know whats down there as I have a damn good idea.:)
    Better to forget and ignore..:)


    1. For several days I felt a tickle around my eye. Finally, I looked in the mirror and found a very fine hair that was growing in the crease of my eyelid! Hahahaha! And I was pretty young. Scary……………..


  4. I wouldn’t even consider tormenting myself with one of those evil things. Because it all looks blurry now anyway, I assume I ooze with classic, silent-film era glamor, shot through a cheesecloth filter under sensual lighting. Yep. That’s how people see me. Because 2 of the 3 lightbulbs blew out in the bathroom, and the lightings better now.


  5. This is hilarious! I enjoyed it so much! You are so right, we look at ourselves through a magnifying glass and at others through photoshop. No wonder we have such poor self image! I’m hosting a new meme called Painting Prose. I’d love for you to be a part of it! We need your voice!


  6. My challenge right now is trying to eat healthier, but I am finding you can have chips and other things in moderation. Really do not feel like you are giving up too much. Thanks for sharing:)


  7. Funny you should post about a 20-power mirror. In a comment on Myndi Shafer’s post this morning I suggested that ALL women throw away their 15-power mirrors. (I didn’t know they made 20-power.) No human’s skin is gonna look good at that magnification.


  8. Both of my sisters and my daughter have a love/hate relationship with those mirrors–oh the face picking!
    I’ve never been drawn to it, at all–and that is why other people are the first to notice that pesky hair that keeps sprouting on my chin. Yikes, right?


  9. Susie, I was going to buy a magnifying mirror for shaving in the morning. I looked into one at Bed Bath and Beyond, and was terrified by what I saw. After reading your blog, I know I’ll never look in one again.


  10. I avoid mirrors like the plague, not wishing to crack any by looking in them. 😉

    Yay for your daughter abandoning hers, but don’t punish yourself too badly for using one. If we all made a list of things we do, should do, don’t do, shouldn’t do… it would be very humbling – and probably liberating.


  11. Hi,
    I have never heard of these mirrors before, but I know that if I ever see one, I would definitely avoid it at all costs, the last thing I need is a close up view of this old face. 😆


  12. Donate it! There are some of us out there that don’t have this addiction and would love a bargain 20X mirror. Me, for one.

    I’m thinking if you’re that good with spackle and paint, you should be a makeup artist. 30 odd years and I still have trouble blending my foundation and concealer. That’s why I like powder, I guess. Glad you broke the addiction and love you pea-sized head. That’s hilarious, by the way.


    1. Hahaha! Tameri that’s what I thought before using the evil 20x mirror……..heed…. the…… warning………………………………………..
      It really was a shock to see my entire head in a little mirror!


  13. Susie, that was so funny! (Personally, I think you look beautiful and never needed it anyway!) I have a 10x mirror for plucking – and it’s regular on the other side, which I need, because architects and builders seem to forget that people under 5′ tall can only see the top of our heads in regular bathroom mirrors! LOL, good post! ~ Julie 🙂


    1. You are so nice Julie!
      Danny and I rented a condo in Aspen and he laughed when he walked into the bathroom because the counter was about 40 inches high! I am 5’4 and Danny is 5’6″ on a good day! What were they thinking? Kids would need a ladder to wash their hands. Hahaha!


  14. LOL what a fun post BTW the image about eye liner ya its straight 😆
    oh please dont give away or destroy you mag. mirror…I have one ,I am addicted too and we may think we got rid of them but they have a way of coming back just like mask…..
    we should form a magnifying mirror anonymous 🙂


  15. Oh, my gosh! That’s my problem! It’s the evil mirror. LOL! But, I am weak – oh, so weak. Maybe if I wean from a 20x to a 15x to 10x . . . . Do they make a patch for magnified mirror withdrawal????


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