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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Reflections

My mom says that, even as she gets older, she always thinks of herself as a young girl. She says she sometimes looks in the mirror and is surprised to see a 60-year-old woman. This portrait series by Tom Hussey captures how we remain ourselves, even as our bodies age.

(Thanks, @mommaruthsays)

132 comments:

Jes said...

these are so amazing.
really makes you think and reflect.
and really makes me want to call my mom and say "hi" :)
jes
www.twosmuppies.com

Sarah Carlson said...

These are stunning!

Meagan Murtagh said...

these really made me smile. thanks!

Briana said...

Such a wonderful concept. My grandmother has said the same thing... that when she looks in the mirror, she says, "Who is that old woman?" as she still sees herself much, much younger.

Here's to hoping we all see ourselves that way as we age... :-)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Oh I love this!
Now, at 45, it's really starting to happen to me.

Abby said...

This is such a cool idea for a series! Genius!

Victoria said...

Beautiful! Makes me wonder what I'll see when I look in the mirror in 30 years. :)

solsticehome said...

your momma is right. this is so very true. i don't know at what age this happens, but it does and it's nice to know you are not the only one. thank you for the intro to this lovely series.

crowbloke said...

this post brought a lump to my throat and a little tear to my eye. lovely, thank you.

Joanna Goddard said...

it has happened to me a couple times in my thirties. sometimes i'm like, wait, how can i have grey hairs? i'm like 12!! :)

stricksonne said...

es geht mir genauso wie ihrer mutter!!! ganz liebe grüße von angie aus deutschland

melanie molloy said...

what an amazing concept for a portrait series-thanks for sharing! My father always talks of how when away at sea one of the much older seamen would sit and play cribbage with the young men and join in their conversations as though he were still a 19 year old man himself. Once, my father bumped into him and he confessed he had just looked in the mirror and not recognised the man before him: a fifty year old seafarer horrified that he did not see his younger self. Our minds remain the same, it is just the packaging which changes!x

Anonymous said...

lovely series.

VintageDanielle said...

WOW! I really really love these photos. I have a feeling I'll still feel like a 17 year old no matter how old I become.

Jen said...

awww..these are fantastic!

Rebecca said...

These are beautiful!

Victoria said...

I love this. So beautiful.

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Emelie - C'est LA vie said...

My mum who is also 60 this year, says that too (although she's more specific about her imagined age, still feeling about 12, she says :) Lately, I kind of get it. I'll be 33 in a few months, but I catch myself thinking I'm a twenty-something all the time...

Love the images; so beautifully wistful.

Mary Ruth Gilliam said...

I knew if anyone would love these, it'd be you! :)

I can't wait to share these with my Mamaw - her 74th birthday is Monday but she's still just as spry and youthful as ever!

-Mary Ruth
@mommaruthsays

Becca said...

Is that James Franco in the top one?

He would.

Lemanie said...

Awww...this is sweet & profound. =)

Lemanie's Randomness Blog

J. Beaudet said...

I love these! Absolutely beautiful meaning! When I'm that age I would like one just like it. After all it's not what you look like, it's how you feel inside and it shows that way on the outside.
Jenniferxx

Sage Crown Parker said...

oh my goodness i love these so much!
i've so had that moment of shock when you weren't ready to see yourself in a mirror and you're like "that's me?"

michael ann said...

Oh wow these are fantastic, what a touching idea. Thanks so much for sharing!

C said...

This made me so emotional even though I'm only in my twenties! It really drives home how fast time passes and how we should really makes the most of each day.

Nick Goddard said...

I want to see Toby's

Her North Star said...

Whenever I am able to relate to someone who is twice my age, I tell them. They usually respond with some sort of negative remark about how old they are. I tell them to stop because they are as young as they feel!

http://www.hernorthstar.com/

French Cannes Cannes said...

I love this!

Ash the Bash said...

Beautiful!

Alex Musetti said...

So true! My moms is in her sixties too and she always says the same. Who's that lady i the mirror? That just means she's still young at heart, I love it, I love her...

valerie olivia said...

young at heart! i guess we'll always feel like we're not grown up. xoxoxx

Kerri Lynne said...

awww i've always loved this series! :)


I even posted about it, here!
http://gravityplan.blogspot.com/2010/10/reflections.html

Joanna said...

These portraits are so poignant and they speak volumes. One of my favorite posts of yours!

Alex said...

I was amazed to hear my grandmother say on her 82nd birthday in December that she still feels 25. She has Parkinsons and is stooped and can hardly walk, so I feel it's truly a testament to how mind triumphs over body almost all the time. Sad and beautiful too.

caroline said...

my mom says the same thing. i'm still even starting to think that way (at 30)! interesting portraits. thanks!

Lilac In May said...

So true. here in the Uk there is a big debate happening about how we treat our lederly people in hospitals and care homes, wouldn't it be great if every elderly person had one of these portraits of themselves up on their wall to remind that they too were young once.

Jacquelineand.... said...

I'm so there....lovely portraits, thank you.

Anonymous said...

let's get real though, your mom hardly looks 60

Lindsay said...

love this !

dizzy_izzy said...

Just wondering, are the reflections their previous occupations?

Jess said...

incredible. i think about what this must be like often.

Lisamarie said...

I love these photos!

Beautiful Things said...

Aw, this actually brought a tear to my eye. x

Pounou said...

Beautiful pictures! I love them.
I just discovered yuour blog, and absolutely love it. Congrats!

LEAH said...

what a really great series, love the art direction.

Meganne said...

Pictures that seem sad and happy, all at once.
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♥ Ka`ili said...

such wonderful photography!! and I actually have the same last name as the photog! thanks for sharing these awesome photos :) it's so artistic

Victoria said...

Great portraits. I too am surprised when I seem myself in the mirror, when actually I do feel like I'm still much younger!

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, I read a study that reported most senior citizens imagine themselves to still be in their mid 30's. At the time, I remember thinking that was so strange. But now that I'm in my 40's, I can see how that's becoming a reality.

I think it's a reminder, in this youth driven society, to see older people for not how they look presently, but to remember that they were once the same age that we are now. And sooner than later, we will be in their shoes.

Ashley said...

So cool. I love looking at the elderly and imagining how beautiful and youthful they were. It's a sweet thing.

Marie said...

Oh, I don't know, i think it's sad! I'm kind of hoping that my mind will stay in touch with my age.. I mean, now, at 32, I think all people younger than 30 look really young and childlike. I don't mind being older, because they are so tiny! I'm kind of hoping it will stay that way, that when I'm 40 i'll feel like "this is the place to be", like I do now. I suppose it will have to end eventually - but I feel like in these photos, a person peaks when he/she is 20 and beautiful, and after that forever looks back. That's sad, no?

Marie said...

.. that said - they are really beautiful and moving!

Kelli @ Life at 818 said...

It's beautiful - it is about how you feel, how you remember, how you never forget, the way you were. And really the way you still are. I'm 53! I still feel like I'm 16 sometimes! Life is great at any age, but I think youth is so fleeting, and then BAM. you're grown up. You really are as young as you feel. Sometimes we look at older people like they've always been old - that's how we know them. But the stories they could tell :o)

Sarah Morgan said...

This is such a beautiful series.

Alex L said...

holy bananas! no way your mama is 60---she's so lovely and looks SO much younger!

Anonymous said...

Been there done that
I feel even worse when I see myself in the mirror after swooning over a forty something guy in the check out line.
I'm in the swoon for sixties set.

Ronnie said...

What a beautiful series. It's funny - I'm only thirty two, but I still think of myself as a sixteen year old sometimes even though I have three little boys at home.
Ronnie xo

Chelsea C. said...

Goodness! Those photos get me a little teary-eyed! So lovely.

Nesa said...

I *love* this! Thank you for posting. :)

RosyRilli said...

These are really touching but got me a little choked up. I'm not gonna lie...

Eliza Jane said...

This is so touching.

Anonymous said...

This is so heartbreaking in a way. It is sad that people don't see people as we were and as we still feel. Yet it is beautiful nonetheless. It is a reality we will eventually all share. your blog is the best.

Anonymous said...

Joanna, I love your blog and your uplifting, encouraging take on life.

lcb said...

Beautiful photos-- haunting, in a way. I'm 27 and I teach 2nd grade and I constantly have these moments where I stop and think Wait, I'm in charge?! What makes it all the stranger is the fact that I used to attend the school I work at, and my former teachers are still there! It definitely makes me feel like a kid.

I do still think of myself as a girl, and I doubt I'll ever stop feeling that way. I wonder if really important people have the same thoughts-- can you imagine President Obama feeling 20 and wondering how he got to be in charge of a nation? :)

Ingrid said...

It is true...us old people really do see the world with young minds and hearts. I'm a teacher, way old enough to retire, but I don't feel old...I feel like I'm still learning and getting better... And as for love, I still love my husband as much (more) than when we were married 43 years ago. We still like to have dates. In fact, I love your idea of meeting in the restaurant for extra romance... And I'm still reading the blogs of all you young things and enjoying all the tips, clothes, books, ideas... Thanks, Jo, for being one of my favorites!

Ladies Holiday said...

Phenom.

Mindy Day said...

Thank you so much for sharing, I wish I had thought of this photo series. It is perfect.

Alina said...

Wow, that's really interesting, but maybe also sad. What's wrong with seeing yourself as old(er)? Among the many things written about French women are that they are accepting of aging, because aging to them doesn't mean "letting oneself go," and doesn't seem to be viewed so negatively as it is in America (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/fashion/15French.html). I wonder whether this series is more applicable to America than anywhere else.

JustCharlie said...

Thanks for posting this on my boyfriends 40th Birthday! I still see the 20 year old in him everyday! :)

{Liana} said...

Already I see this happening; a beautiful heartbreak that you have to get over.

Kate Jones said...

Such a cool concept!

Neha said...

These pictures are beautiful! Very thoughtful post

Jinnie said...

so beautiful!
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Quiqui said...

Great photography!
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Cindy Marie said...

this is adorable,
i looove this!

xx

http://becauseicancindymarie.blogspot.com/

anissa ljanta said...

i love these, thank you for sharing. So many times we just see a mother, or an old lady and are not open to the wealth of all the adventures, wildness and richness their lives have offered them...and we lose what they have to offer us as a result. This reminds me to really see each person for who they are. x

Anonymous said...

I agree with Alina. I think this may be a a cultural thing, as I spend a lot of time in Europe, have a European family (my partner is Italian), and really don't feel this way at all. I see exactly my forty-something self in the mirror. I like just being who I am now, having more perspective, wrinkles, different roles and dreams, even slowing down a bit! I have a much older French male friend who told me once that when he was a young boy he used to see older women in his village and thought that the sexiest thing about a woman was the dark circles under her eyes. True story!

Luna said...

This is how I see my partner, that first impression, nine years ago.

On age, I don't keep count of my age. Whenever I'm asked for my birthdate, it comes out automatically. But when someone asks "How old are you?" I'm mentally calculating the years. One person said to me, that is a great way to stay young(er) - not knowing how old are you. Very true!

Luna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laurenjeanallece said...

oh, this is so sweet! i love the ones where the older "them" is smiling into their reflection!

Girlie Blogger said...

I feel the same. I still walk around like an 18-year old, but less insecure.

Elizabeth :: Bébé Suisse said...

A sweet and thought-provoking series. Thanks for sharing!

Grace @ Wrinkled Chiffon said...

Thanks for sharing this Joanna...it was such a touching post to see those photos. Still following you everyday from Malaysia! Have a great weekend.

xo Grace
www.wrinkledchiffon.com

janzi said...

As all the others have said, what a great idea to show the portraits like that and to remind us how time changes one except inside us!! I too cannot believe how old I am, as I feel eternally young inside and still waiting to feel grown up! Yesterday my oldest child turned 45, so I am really this old, but hard to feel thank goodness. My mother always said she would never get old, and she didnt right until she passed away at 87, she was still rushing around and going places. Thats the secret of eternal youth, never to stop being involved with others.. Have a great weekend and thank you for sharing your post with us all! Janzi

Anonymous said...

These make me so sad I know they shouldn't but they fill me with the fear, which tells me more about my life than I need to know right now I think I should take this as a kick up the bum to get on with life.

H* said...

lovely pics!!!!!!Sometimes I wonder how I'll feel when I'm older and see my reflection...

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Jaclyn said...

i was really moved when looking at these. My mom always says she never feels her age too...these remind me of her.

Darren Keegan (@dazerk) said...

These are great. I wonder why they chose to see themselves at that particular instance of their lives? I don't think it's a youth thing always, maybe just when they were happiest or most proud of themselves? Nice.

Charlotte said...

This is fantastic, enjoy your youth!

Lady Grey said...

Wow, these are amazing. It seems like the concept may have come across as sad, but it's not, these photos are completely uplifting.
xo

left on cardspond said...

i love these photos. very touching food for thought, and a reminder to live everyday to the fullest regardless of age

Anonymous said...

Great Photos!
Done for an Alzheimers disease campaign.

I feel, it also could mean to be trapped in the past.

Leonie said...

Beautiful. But makes me sad somehow.

Collections said...

wow what an awesome idea.

Collections

mmelledge said...

I still think I am 17 and I am only 24... I wonder if I will stick with 17 when I am 92 or I will think I am like 26... interesting.

christine said...

Very cool

evdokia t. said...

very good work... & a little melancholic too :)

Christine @Fancy Function said...

Wow - that actually made me tear up - beautiful!

Anonymous said...

love these pix, as one of your older readers, I have to say your Mom is right on target. My reaction is "who IS that woman?".

Tina said...

what a concept! i love this series. great find.

Kate said...

your comment is so true: my mom has been in a wheelchair for about five years due to debilitating arthritis, but in her dreams she is always walking. she's never once had a dream about herself in her chair.

Hillary said...

i really love this so much.

Sandy said...

There is a saying that goes, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?". I think these photos capture that perfectly!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing concept - so poignant!

Kristen Duke Photography said...

wow, I love this! I have heard that from my mom as well...

Jen said...

I have worked with Tom Hussey - he's terrific

sécia said...

These are amazing. Loving your blog!

♥ sécia
www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

Roisin said...

Love these images. SO personal.

giulia said...

quite true. i'm 46 and sometimes when I Look at myself in the mirror or in photos my first thought is "wuo's that lady"?? although I feel good in my skin, in my mind I'm still 30

Daniela said...

This idea is so creative, and it's true! No matter what our bodies do - aging wise - our mindset is always stuck on an age...I personally think I'll be 19-20 forever, and even though I'm only 24 I don't think that will ever change.

Alt-Mama said...

Lovely, and humbling. A good reminder of our own impermanence. Thanks for sharing these.

Hena Tayeb said...

wow that is amazing. Love the concept

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