The Mirror Lies: the secrets I have discovered by being a photographer
The mirror lies. This is what we have learned by photographing hundreds of women in the past few years. We have discovered that mirrors are cheaters and more often than not, they are trying to push you down. But is it true that the mirror lies by showing you less appealing than you think, or are we the liars and we cheat ourselves? Well, it is a case of contributory negligence. In listening to women talking about their bodies, we came to the realisation that what they tell about themselves is a very negative review of who they are.
So why the mirror lies and we believe it?
The mirror lies: the technicalities
We would like to start this post by briefly analysing some of the reasons why we believe the mirror lies; however, these are going to sound all empty words, and the main reason is that you trust your own mirror more than you trust us. Let’s try and shake your respect for something that reflects your worst fears.
- The mirror looks at you through your eyes
Your eyes already know where to go, and more often than not we focus on what we fear is not looking great. Guess what: we will always find something we can criticise if we look carefully enough. Also, you have to keep into consideration that the moment you use your eyes to look at yourself, you will stop acting natural…
- You see yourself in two dimensions
Everyone in the world sees you in three dimensions, while the mirror lies by showing you a flat image of yourself. When someone says that a reflection is always distorted, it is true, because no reflection will capture your natural movement, as you will always be watching!
- Your reflection is not the whole of you
Very close to the first point we touched, the mirror lies because it can’t show a huge part of who you are: how you move. The image you see will never carry that natural movement you normally do. That gesture you do when you are not thinking about it that makes you so uniquely beautiful… guess what? The mirror lies because it won’t show you the whole of who you are.
- The light you are using is probably very unflattering
This is very geeky, or even nerdy, but the lights you have are probably underlying everything that is not perfect. If you want to judge yourself under a bad light (pun intended), free to do it, I personally won’t!
- The way you bend your body in front of the mirror is just ridiculous
Have you ever noticed the way you bend your body in front of a mirror? If you try to see the reflection of your derrière you will probably push your hips forward, clenching your buttocks and, by doing that, changing the shape of who you are. The same applies when you bend forward to have a confirmation that you have some rolls on your stomach and the many other things you would never do in front of someone else…
The mirror lies and you believe it
The worst thing about this whole issue, is that the mirror lies, and we are ready to believe that we are worse off than we really are. It’s like meeting a hundred people, ignoring the 99 that say something positive about us and focussing on the only negative comment we receive. Doesn’t it sound silly? Don’t you realise that giving such power to a mirror is the best way of destroying your self confidence?
A mirror is like a random stranger who knows nothing about us and that judges us focusing on what we hate about ourselves. And we believe it, because it is a way of making us feel understood, because you can say those warm words “I told you so…” which make us feel so… right. Right?
The mirror lies are dangerous
When researching today’s theme, we came to discover that everything Google relates to our title “mirror lies” is about anorexia, bulimia and a wide range of eating disorders. People suffering from anorexia realise that their bodies are thin, but they focus on what is not looking as they would love through their reflection! If we wake up every morning and we see a bad image of ourselves, we will start our day with the wrong foot. I would be pretty upset to see a huge belly just before coffee time.
Anorexia and bulimia are not science fictions, numbers are staggering, and swiping these issues under the mat won’t solve them. We should teach ourselves that the mirror lies, but more importantly we should teach our children that what they see is not the entire reality, it is not 3d, it is not them. The dangers of the mirror lies are huge, and in our society they go wildly unnoticed!
This is what you can do
Turning all the mirrors away is not a feasible option, and it would not be a solution. The solution to this problem lies inside us. We have to be aware that the mirror lies, and we should start looking through it in a different way. To do this we should start stop using them to evaluate our beauty.
Start using that liar to check if your skirt is put in the right way, or just make sure it does its dirty job by helping us apply your makeup. Focus on the details you need, not on the things you dislike. The mirror lies and it is not our best friend, so we don’t need to listen to every thing we say to ourselves. And this is the main point, the most important part. We should be our best friends, we should talk kindly to ourselves, we should support us, even when a part of us is so afraid to see what we fear most reflected in that liar.
Forget about the mirror and remember it is just an object: you are not. You are a beautiful human being.
The mirror lies, you should just be kind with yourself.