Reflecting On Yourself

By | February 14, 2008

Reflecting On Yourself
Originally uploaded by Loose Wire.

Why are people so easily absorbed by their own reflection? Is it narcissism, or do we tend to face the transport that we await? Is it easier to look at ourselves than at other people? Are people thinking about themselves when they look, or are they critically appraising their looks? Why don’t we feel self-conscious gazing at our reflections in public? Why do men do it as much as women?

5 thoughts on “Reflecting On Yourself

  1. orcmid

    I often catch myself observing my own reflection, so I am aware of the phenomenon. If I am with someone, and there is a mirror behind them, I have to find a way to keep looking at them instead of my reflection.

    I think I might do the same in the barber chair, but it is not something I am so conscious of.

    However, at SeaTac airport last night, I was waiting for the train from the N Satellite and I am pretty sure that most of us were not looking at our reflection. In my case I was watching for evidence of the approaching train and hoping that the doors I was near would not be opened into an already-crowded car. Those semi-reflective doors just don’t have the same appeal.

  2. Tom Griffiths

    Like orcmid, almost all of the time I have been standing in a similar position at Raffles Place I have just been trying to make sure that I am in the correct place in those marked queue positions while waiting for the train to arrive. Your comment has forced me to think what I actually do at those times but I am sure it is mostly observing the wonderful flow of humanity that the SMRT presents, or just being inside my head, rather than noticing what is in the glass in front of me.

    The trouble is, now I will have to notice whether I am looking at myself. I almost wish I hadn’t read your comment!

  3. Gus

    I suppose it could simply have alot to do with having something to look at – at least as far as the Metro is concerned. And after all, looking (gazing, staring, …) at others on the platform isn’t considered very polite in many places 😉

    Here in Shanghai, we have Metro stations that have semi-reflective walls on the platform (eg. Line 4, underground stations) and we have platforms that do not have such barriers (eg. People Sq). Commuters are still oriented toward the edge – but are most likely looking up at the LCD monitors above the tracks, which have train information and video adverts playing, or at the large billboard-type ads on the far walls – and this is whether there is a semi-reflective wall or not!

  4. Gaurav Mathur

    This phenomenon of staring at your reflections and facial improvements in public spaces, in my opinion, is rather prominent in this part of world. I’ve noticed girls in the Singapore MRT not just do their complete facial make-ups but also hair-brow plucking!
    I agree with you that men do it as much as women but wonder if its just about utilising the traveling time or is there some sort of public fetishism involved.


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