When our kids were home (three girls were quite the challenge for this Dad), I would often wonder what they saw when looking into the wall sized mirror in their bathroom. As they gazed on their images… little pixies that you couldn’t stop
hugging …to the Tom-Boy emerging beauties …and the OMG the world is ending
because we’re out of hair-spray and I MIGHT have a zit years… one thing struck
me. The image they saw was not the same image I saw.
That’s when I realized that Snow White’s nemesis wasn’t really evil…she was simply in a state of shock. Imagine the Queen’s horror when the mirror’s truth reflected an image that was different than what it had been.
Marketing and sales faces these human vanities every day. The car salesman appeals to the inner “jock” when pitching the sportier models…the undergarment department advertises the apparel that makes you look 15 pounds thinner…and dermatology/plastic surgery “spas” abound.
The goal: Make the reflection match the self-image.
This mantra holds true for older adults, too! When retirement communities show their facilities, they portray young looking retirees using the pool and the golf
carts and the exercise room. Active and vibrant sells! If they showed people
with canes or walkers…the senior shopping for a new residence might be turned
off by the “OLD people”.
Of course, the saying, “Just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace!” is also appropriate…since many of our patients come to us with canes or walkers…and smiles. Their goal is to use the reflection to enhance the self-image…as they work with the lifestyle changes that aging
imposes on us all …improving what can be improved…challenging mind and body so they can continue doing as much as they can.
But I still wonder…as I now watch my grandkids looking at that big mirror…What do they see?