"A beautiful woman, looking at herself in the mirror, might believe that she is only that, but an ugly woman knows that she is not only that."
From The Mirror: A History, by Sabine Melchoir-Bonnet.
Also from Melchoir-Bonnet's painstakingly researched compendium:
"To contemplate one's image is to come up against one's limits, to see time work its destruction, to fear painful or distubing evidence that the subject shelters itself from - his biological and mortal reality. Any mirror is a mirror of vanity and any self-portrait leads to automortrait [self death portrait], according to critic Philippe Lejeune's clever expression. As both upholder and destroyer of an ideal self, the reflection, unfit for its mission, either cracks or dismisses itself."