I have found, I believe, that our whole lives are dominated, though not always so clearly translatable, by the question “How do I look?” Take all the many nouns in our lives—car, house, job, family, love, friends—and substitute the personal pronoun “I.” It is not that we are all so self-obsessed; it is that all things eventually relate back to our sense of ourselves, and it is our own sense of how we appear to the world by which we chart our lives, how we navigate our personalities, which would otherwise be adrift in the ocean of other people’s obsessions.

Lucy Grealy, “Mirrorings”