Happy weekend, and Happy Holidays for those who celebrate! Changing seasons can be a time for self reflection. Actually, I think that concept of self is a fluid and changeable thing. I realize that portraits reveal just how true this is. A stranger took this shot:
I was In sunny SoCal then, at the beach with my AHH! smile on. Another candid shot by my husband last year. My hair is similar , but I look so different. Lighting, mood, perspective, the tilt of the camera, the way facial feature align or contort is a thing that is hard to control. Like life, your face is sometimes just what happens , starting with your DNA.
Neither of these have been on the blog before. The following collage features the many, lets say, daily faces of Elle. There is a specific reason for this post and I will get to it, I promise.
So many faces, so different each one! Which is the truest? The ones without make-up, the candid ones, the ones taken by a passerby, or the ones where I did try to arrange my facial expressions to their best perspective, or the ones where I tried my best with my make up and hair? ( I now mostly get help with that!)
If I try to influence my look, as we do, is that a truer self, since our subjective self is a true part of us too? Or is it when we are caught off guard? The answer is, I do not know. I think each of them as authentic as the other. I think of the term self and see a patchwork quilt. And of course, the face is just the best outward reflection of self.
Here is the recent photo, which I actually do not love, that inspired this post. In it, I am standing beneath a painting of a woman in repose that sort of, kind of , looks like me. Actually it better likeness of my twin, whose nose has more of an upturn. I am wearing the Ralph Lauren dress from an earlier post, and I did promise to show that print. Here it is!
Also I am wearing a costume brooch from an antique store in Bridgehampton, NY. My ring is from Mexico and my pearl bracelet is from STA, Madison avenue. My face is from my parents and ancestors, and all of the magic that happens when nature creates a new life. In this portrait I look like my Grandmother.
Here I played with the color. My weekly playdate with my photo apps.
So I will leave you will this these questions. How do we know oneself? How do we know which of our many faces, is truest? Or is there no such thing? I say the portrait that does us the most justice, and is most life-like is the one that captures our essence. What do you think?