Mirror Fascination

This is a second post about an image series that I’m working on about mirror reflexions see “The Girl in the Mirror”.

Continuing the exploration of the psychological implications of mirrors, I’d say that one of the most studied areas in this field is the emotional ramifications resulting from looking at oneself in a mirror. Probably the most known theory is the one concerning Narcissism, which is the excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.

Narcissus gave birth to the term narcissism. According to Greek mythology, Nemesis the goddess of revenge, disturbed by the fact that Narcissus had rejected the love of Echo a nymph that after Narcissus rejection vanished away turning into an echo sound decided to punish Narcissus making him to fall in love with his own reflection on the water, Narcissus unable to get his love reciprocated by his own image, finally dies turning into a gold and white flower.

But, beyond nurturing our most-inner narcissists impulses, the psychological, societal and artistic effects of modern mirrors are diverse and wide-ranging. Mirrors are constantly influencing our most basic actions every day — just try no to look at your reflection when passing by in front of a mirror in a public place.

Mirrors are ingrained in arts, science and of course in film and media — just remember the famous Robert de Niro’s scene in “Taxi Driver”, “You talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here.” In this scene,  Travis Bickle incarnated by de Niro delivers one of the best-known monologues into a mirror right in his depressing apartment.

Finally, this apparently elementary “vanity” object, in many ways has shaped the beliefs about the ideal human being, so paraphrasing Mark Pendergast,  “Your reflection follows you from the cradle to the grave.”, so probably that is the reason why all of us from time to time succumb to the “Mirror Fascination”.

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