Mirrors and Positive Self-Image

How To Look And Feel Better

The right mirrors can make all the difference when it comes to how you look (and how you feel about how you look). We can look at ourselves from our own perspective, but you can’t 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 you need to know about mirrors, including how to pick the best ones, why some mirrors are 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. Often, 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 how you look or have a negative self-image, you’ll always struggle with how you feel about mirrors. You may struggle with seeing your body in any capacity. However, if you learn to view yourself and understand how mirrors work positively (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. The image looks foreign to you until you’re used to looking in mirrors. They’re everywhere, though, so usually, by the time we’re cognizant, most of us have a familiar relationship with the mirror, whether good or bad. We get used to how we look in the mirror, but it might not be the same as in pictures—it’s all about perspective.

Another reason 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 ones might have curves or waves 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 work 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 get the best results from a high-quality mirror that is thick enough to provide a smooth finish and give you the look you want.

If you’re looking for mirrors that guarantee you look good, stick with larger, flatter mirrors. The ones that have flat surfaces won’t be convex or change with the lighting, the position, or the placement. Larger mirrors show you a full body view, 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

Amelia Decorative Antique Black Mirror with Bronze Hightlights

Amelia Decorative Antique Black Mirror with Bronze Hightlights

Keep your mirrors clean and in good condition, too. Cracks, splits, and even a dirt buildup can distort how 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 the mirror wins if it’s between a high-quality mirror and a camera.

Lunel Arched Mirror

Lunel Arched Mirror

Choose Carefully, but Choose to Love Yourself First

Fortunately, plenty of different mirrors exist in all kinds of styles and sizes to suit every need. Now that you know more about how to look your best and why mirrors might be deceiving you, you can confidently choose a better mirror in the future. Before you purchase a mirror, ensure you can test it at the height 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. Still, when you take the time to choose a high-quality model and install it properly, you’ll have much 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.