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Girl at Mirror by Norman Rockwell

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Vanessa Garcia

Professor Love

Children’s Lit 428

6 October 2015

Girl at Mirror by Norman Rockwell March 6, 1954

There is one thing that a can never be taken from a woman- her beauty. In Norman Rockwell’s painting, Girl at Mirror, there appears to be a girl contemplating her reflection as she sits in front of a mirror. In this girl’s lap is a magazine of a model or an actress. This girl has been trying on make-up and looking at her reflection in the mirror as all young girls has done. On the floor nearby are a red lipstick, a hairbrush, and her doll. It is clear that this girl is beginning to grow up and an innocent portrayal of a young girl is shown. Through this painting there appears to be two different interpretations of how the girl struggles through the societal image of beauty and the focus of her own beauty in a girl to becoming a woman.  

The image in the magazine of the glamorous woman staring up at her gives the girl a sense of what she really wants to look like. As the girl stares at her reflection we can tell she feels as if she must imitate this woman’s beauty. The girl touches her face just as the woman does in the magazine in attempts to be just as she is. Beside the girl, lay several articles that appear to be open and are typically used to enhance a woman’s beauty. By applying these beauty products the girl strives to make her look “beautiful” comparing herself to the image she found in the magazine. This shows how upon entering womanhood, the girl will face different struggles facing society with their own definition of beauty.

The opposition between a girl and a woman is clearly revealed in this picture. After closely looking at the picture we notice she is not just looking at her reflection to see how her make up looks. By looking at her expressions, we can tell she is feeling sad, worried, or lost. At a glance, Girl at Mirror clearly shows us the confusion the girl faces as she is entering adulthood. The painting shows how the girl’s doll is just thrown to the side carelessly portraying a childhood that wants to be forgotten and no longer in her interests of being a girl. On the other hand, the girl’s interests are now somewhere else as she focuses on entering adolescence or womanhood. Her facial expressions show that she is feeling sad, worried, lost, or even possibly facing a difficult decision. By the looks of it, she on a journey trying to figure out whom she is rebelling against her childhood and yearning to become a woman. The different articles that take place in the picture are clearly both for a girl and a woman revealing the opposition between a girl and a woman.

In this painting we notice a young girl wearing a white slip, hair is braided, and wearing red lipstick and blush. While looking at the picture we right away notice the girl as she has a white glow surrounding her. This glow is obvious to show us the beauty of the girl in this painting. The white lighting and her white attire portray her innocence of her childhood and not yet a woman. The colors used in the setting of what seems to be an attic are dark and brown. The dark colors in the attic make her stand out and remove her self from everyone, so that she can focus on her own charms and individuality. This can also signify her pureness and how the rest of the word that surrounds her can be dark; the battles that society will bring to her. The color red of her lipstick, the stool, and the brush can also represent the womanhood she is about to reach. The color red might represent the puberty she is about to reach along with the passion for other things that come with being an adult.



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