When I Look In The Mirror
As the behind-the-scenes companion documentary to John Legend’s “You & I” music video, 63 women were asked to describe what they see when they look in the mirror. The results were an exploration of self-image, self-judgment and, ultimately, self-love.
The antiquated Polaroid flashes on females of all ages, shapes, backgrounds and outfits, in different settings. When each female starts the journey of answering the question of what she sees when she looks in the mirror, each one has her own version of critical analysis and what the others might think of her. It’s only the two young girls, who actually find it fun to look at themselves – without prejudice.
Every reflection is revealing and unforgiving, as each woman compares herself to her past or the other types of women she was surrounded by while growing up. Others take on somebody else’s point of view, particularly their parents. Each woman knows her own deepest fears and regrets, and they manifest in how she views herself.
When the Polaroid shoots wind down, each is handed her photo and asked to write what she sees when she looks at the person in the photo. As if expressing all the negative analyses they had on themselves was like depressurization from a safety release valve, they all took a 180° turn and wrote down something very positive. Airing the thoughts that have been haunting them for years were now released into the ether, leaving them free from having to internally carry their respective burden anymore.
As each of these females learned, you can’t answer a question without going on a quest. The journey to find an honest and very human answer might have been painful at first but it concluded with each one accepting and loving herself.