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Does what you look like reflect what you feel you look like?


I’m someone who often has difficulty recognizing themselves in the mirror or in photographs. I ALSO almost never relate to how people describe me.

My gay friends ALL -at one time or another- think I look like Charlize Theron… which tells you exactly one thing about me… I look NOTHING like Charlize Theron. Facepalm. I love ya man, but seeeeriously Let’s never talk about this, again. (My lesbian friends, meanwhile, think I look like Xena, whenever I’m a brunette. Again? Nope!

Both of these things have come up, a whole helluva lot in my life. Consistently, and vexingly.

I couldn’t tell you what my straight friends think I look like, as I don’t get the blink-blink-pause-XYZ! OMFG. You’re XYZ… from them.

IDFK what’s going on with their heads, They’re seeing things in me / about me… that aren’t, me. I’m representing something to them, sure. That I can grok. But it’s not an accurate reflection. It’s them, not me, in play.

There’s a schtick/diagnostic/treatment modaliry in art therapy where one is supposed to draw themselves.

I can see it in OTHERS, when how they draw themselves is sooooo veery distant from how they actually look. Regardless of skill. Stick figures to sellable, on the skill front.

I’m just curious… how do you… SEE YOU? Is it largely in line with how others see you? Is it who you want to be? Is it alarming? Or embarrassing? Or confusing? Or stereotypical? Or? Or? Or???
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I only felt that I started to look like myself once I grew out my hair and my beard. Before that, all I could see was my dad and my grandfather when I looked in the mirror. Now that my hair is halfway down my back, I no longer have that problem. And of course, during my abuse years I had a shaved head, so it's nice to move away from that.
I was told I looked like Tori Amos in her videos when her album “Little Earthquakes” came. After Aquaman came out I was told rather too frequently I looked like Mera. My thoughts have always been they all were more crazy than I ever have been.

The only thing that comes to mind when I think of drawing myself, is me standing in front of a mirror but there is no reflection of me. only the reflection of things around me. Sooo not really sure what that is 😂. I don’t personally find it alarming or confusing. I am not sure it is who I want to be or not. I know most definitely it is not what my friends think of.
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Funny, when I think of how I look the main thing that comes up is "short".

Before I transitioned, I avoided looking at pictures of myself or looking in the mirror. I do that now. hmm..
I've had phases of hating the way I look, to loving the way I look, to finding it a pressured hindrance and problematic. I'm 48 now and when I was younger I was skinny and athletic, then when they put me on queteapine and I was drinking I was fat and overweight. I have also had trouble recognising myself in mirrors and photos. Don't know why. Stress, drugs, mental illness and head injuries maybe??

Now I like the way I look and feel comfortable. I've filled out a bit and at 5'8" wished I was a bit taller but hey! They say "good things come in small packages"!! I have muscles and a sturdy frame.

Yeah... I'm happy and comfortable with who I am now. The outside reflects my inner world of thoughts and feelings.
I have pretty bad gender dysphoria. But other than that, I don't really care much about how I look. I look like Weemie! And as I get older, I'm getting more comfortable in my skin. I'm more comfortable with being a trans man, whatever that looks like. That I don't have to be cis, I don't have to pass. I don't have to be or do anything. I don't have to be attractive, I don't have to be anything. I even made the very tumultuous decision to not pursue surgical transition, so I am non-op, for now (and maybe forever). It's a day-by-day thing. Some days are better than others, heh. I always say me and ma were born in the wrong bodies - she's 5'9" and buff as f*ck. I can barely open a public library door! My teeny tiny chicken arms.
I've been working on this for a while. Simple answer is no, but that's more because until recently I never looked at myself in a mirror and now that I've started, I don't recognise the person I see. There's other issues around liking that person, too, which is a work in progress. Yet so many times I've had people come up to me and tell me how they remember me from back when I was 2/3/8/10 years old, so I know the face in the mirror actually hasn't changed much at all, despite me thinking it looks nothing like the girl in my family photos.
There have been points in my therapy where I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. It's unsettling for sure.

But I had some prior experience there, when I had my eye removed and got a prosthetic - it took a while before seeing it in the mirror was "real" and before I got used to seeing it look back at me while shaving etc. I'm still not sure it looks "right" or looks like me.....