How would you describe your face or your body? The aim of this exercise is to use descriptive details to make sense of the self. Is your face oval or round? Is your mouth wide? Are your lips lumpy? Would you rather the color of your skin were different? Does your weight define you? Are your legs spindly or stocky? Are your eyes beady or froggy? How do you think you appear in the eyes of others? What do you imagine people are drawn to when they look at you? What effect does your appearance have on people? Let the adjective pile up and don’t be afraid to compare yourself to things.
In Virginia Woolf‘s Mrs Dalloway, the narrator tells us what Clarissa Dalloway is thinking of herself:
She had a narrow pea-stick figure; a ridiculous little face, beaked like a bird’s. That she held herself well was true; and had nice hands and feet; and dressed well, considering that she spent little. But often now this body she wore (she stopped to look at a Dutch picture), this body, with all its capacities, seemed nothing—nothing at all. She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having of children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway… (page 10)