I was at the International Stores yesterday doing my weekly grocery haul. It was like every other grocery haul I’ve ever done, except that I was standing behind this woman waiting for her to move her cart (the aisles in that store are narrow; part of the charm of shopping there is that it is old-fashioned, the owner remembers your name and your shopping preferences, even going so far as to call you if the cheese you like is in stock, and it has a client base of loyal shoppers whose families have been shopping there for generations), and I noticed her look into the reflective surface of one of the shelves and check her hair. It was over in a matter of seconds, but I was positioned in a way that I was able to catch her expression when she looked at herself. This made me thoughtful.
So I’ve decided to compile a list of all the expressions we women use when we look at our reflections in the mirror. This is based on personal experience as well as on the observation of other people!
The Exaggerated Pouter
Note the almost instant pout as subject views herself in her mirror. It doesn’t matter what she’s looking at. Fixing her hair? POUT. Straightening her clothes? POUT. Freshening her make up? POUT. There’s nothing this woman won’t do in front of a mirror that involves – yes, you guessed it – pouting. In fact, the pout is also very much in evidence when the subject takes photographs of herself. A camera, after all, is nothing more than a mirror, and pictures don’t lie.
The frowner frowns at her reflection as though she worries about every single feature she sees in the mirror. She frowns at her clothes, and at her hair, and at her make up. She frowns at her wrinkles and the lines on her forehead. The longer she keeps frowning, the more lines she will have to frown at. It’s all relative.
The Weird Mouth Expressioner
Alright, so expressioner isn’t a word, per se. I’m making it one. Treat it as an – Awanthism. That’s right. I am that cool. Besides, if enough people start using it, it may just become a word. (Stop arguing with me. I’m using it. End of discussion.) Anyway. To get back to topic. Please note the subject’s mouth twisting as she surveys her handiwork (and the handiwork of her parents). It isn’t even an actual twist. It sort of slides out and centre and then turns up at the edges. The weird mouth expression. It’s not a pout. It’s not a scowl. It’s not a frown. It’s – that expression that doesn’t have a name yet. Anyway, you know what I mean. It’s weird (and whenever I see it, I always want to dissolve into giggles).
This person looks at herself with a fierce sort of approval. It’s almost as though she can’t believe her eyes. Look at me, she seems to say. How much more awesome can I pack into this frame? Lucky mirror, for having the opportunity to reflect me. Lucky room full of people, you get to see me. Lucky me, I get to see me. We’re all just lucky, lucky, lucky! But what this person is mostly saying is: Yeah. I’d do me.
Again, yes, I know glancer is not a word. Thank you, fellow pedants, for pointing that out. I MADE IT UP! (Sorry.) This subject barely glances at herself in the mirror. She doesn’t notice every mirror there is to notice, and when she does have to look at herself, it is always a fleeting glance. Perhaps she takes in everything in one glance. Or perhaps she’s not happy with what she can see. Either way, this is the glancer.
And there you have it. That’s my list of expressions as I have observed (and done). So what expression do I use, you ask? Aha, that’s for me to know. (Okay, so I’m a cross between the pouter and the approver. I blend into a pouting approver. I’m just – going to go now.)