Mirrors and Positive Self-Image

How To Look And Feel Better

When it comes to how you look (and how you feel about how you look), the right mirrors can make all the difference. We can look at ourselves from our own perspective, but you can’t really see much or get a good “picture” of the whole package. That’s where mirrors come into play—some can make you look better than others, but why is that? And how do you go about choosing the ideal mirror for your space?

In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about mirrors, including how to pick the best ones, why some mirrors are just no good, and how you can make sure that your mirrors aren’t part of your self-esteem issues.

Related: How To Pick The Right Bathroom Mirror

close up makeup mirror

It Starts with Self-Image

The first thing that you need to check is your self-image. A lot of times, what we see in the mirror doesn’t please us because we aren’t at all happy with our self-image in the first place. What is this psychology, anyway, and why does it matter?

Self-image is essentially your internal dictionary. It tells you what characteristics you see (and value) in yourself. For some people, that self-image is positive. For others, they perceive a more negative image because they don’t have the self-confidence to see themselves in a positive light.

If you don’t like the way you look or you have a negative self-image, you’re always going to struggle with the way you feel about mirrors. You may struggle with seeing your body in any capacity. However, if you learn to have a positive view of yourself and understand how mirrors work (and why they often deceive us), you’ll have a much better relationship with these useful fixtures.

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Andretta Unique Antiqued Silver Mirror

Andretta Unique Antiqued Silver Mirror

Why Do Some Mirrors Make You Look Better or Worse?

For starters, mirrors are a flipped version of reality. Until you’re used to looking in mirrors, the image looks foreign to oneself. They’re everywhere, though, so usually by the time we’re cognizant, most of us have a familiar relationship with the mirror, whether that is good or bad. We get used to the way that we look in the mirror, but it might not be the same as we look in pictures—it’s all about perspective.

Another reason that some mirrors may make you look better or worse is the quality of the fixture and its age. Older mirrors are less “perfect” than newer models, and even some new mirrors might have curves or waves in them that distort the image. Furthermore, some elongated mirrors are designed to make you look more slender by showing a slimmer profile overall, while wider mirrors may make you feel larger.

Asian Rectangular Black Bathroom Wall Mirror

Asian Rectangular Black Bathroom Wall Mirror

Curved mirrors can distort the image and send the wrong messages. Low-quality mirrors will also change the image. Even the position of the mirror and whether it’s been recently cleaned could impact how you look in it. And then, of course, there is the lighting. No matter how good your mirror is, without the right lighting, it will never give you the image that you desire.

If the mirror is tilted at the wrong angle, it could give you an awkward reflection. Mirrors are best used from a straight-on perspective. When mirrors slant toward people, they appear shorter or more compressed. If the mirror tilts away, people look stretched and tend to appear taller and slimmer.

Now that you have a better idea of why mirrors are working against you, let’s talk about the ones that will make you feel better about your image.

Related: Bathroom Mirror Lighting Ideas

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bedroom fill length lighted mirror

Photo by Seura

Which Mirrors are Best for Looking and Feeling Good?

Frameless mirrors, for example, may have less distortion around the edges, making you feel like you look better in that full-length mirror than the framed mirror in the bathroom. You will obviously get the best results from a high-quality mirror that is thick enough to provide a smooth finish and give you the look that you want.

If you’re looking for mirrors that will guarantee that you look good, stick with larger, flatter mirrors. The ones that have flat surfaces won’t convex or change with the lighting, the position, or the placement. Larger mirrors show you a full view of your body, so you’ll typically look better than in smaller mirrors. If you’re looking at a vanity mirror, it might accentuate features in your face and not give you a good impression of your overall appearance.

Related: Medicine Cabinets: Mixing Functionality And Style

Ovesca Dark Oil Rubbed Bronze Oval Mirror

Ovesca Dark Oil Rubbed Bronze Oval Mirror

Keep your mirrors clean and in good condition, too. Cracks and splits and even a buildup of dirt can distort the way a mirror reflects an image. And, as we said in the beginning, feeling good about how you look in the mirror has a lot more to do with self-image than anything.

Also, it’s important to note that mirrors are more accurate than cameras. Cameras allow for aberrations that can affect the image quality. Granted, we’ve discussed that not all mirrors are accurate, but if it’s between a high-quality mirror and a camera, the mirror wins.

Lunel Arched Mirror

Lunel Arched Mirror

Choose Carefully, but Choose to Love Yourself First

Fortunately, there are plenty of different mirrors out there in all kinds of styles and sizes to suit about every need. Now that you know more about how to look your best and why mirrors might be deceiving you, you can confidently move forward in choosing a better mirror in the future. Before you purchase a mirror, make sure that you have a chance to test it out at the height at which you’ll install it. That way, you’ll know it gives you the right image from the start.

Self-image is hard to maintain and when you’ve got so many variables in the everyday mirror, it’s no wonder why people are always checking to see how they look—it could change at any moment. Several factors affect the quality of mirrors and the images they reflect, but when you take the time to choose a high-quality model and install it properly, you’ll find you have a lot less animosity toward mirrors in the future.

Related: How To Decorate With Mirrors

reflections glass mirrors modern living room

Photo by Nella Vetrina Showroom

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My name is Julia Ritzenthaler, Founder and President of Unique Vanities, started in 2005. I started this business as an extension of our residential remodeling business, which focused on the design and build of custom cabinetry and architectural trim. I also worked as a financial advisor for 10 years at Ameriprise Financial, helping clients make sound money decisions, including budgeting for home improvement expenses. This expertise led me to start Unique Vanities, which offers a handpicked selection of high quality bathroom vanities, sinks, mirrors and more. You can find me most days sitting in Starbucks, my second office, or in my car driving my daughter across Dallas to gymnastics training.