Yep. This would save me a lot of time in the mornings.
I had an embarrassing moment in the furniture store. This, surprisingly, was a new venue for me. While I’ve humiliated myself in every conceivable way in the gym (mooning, flashing, peeing, vomiting through my nose – you name it, I’ve done it) and my kids have pretty much guaranteed that I can never walk into another grocery store again without PTSD, the furniture store has so far in my life been a safe haven. And I can’t even blame my kids for this one!
My husband had sweetly decided to take me out for a belated birthday dinner so I got dolled up in one of my cute little dresses that used to fit like a glove before the move but now, thanks to some stress eating and the discovery that Target sells my favorite candy ever from when I was in Spain, fits me more like OJ’s glove. But I decided to just go with it and threw on a pair of bow heels along with some confidence and stepped out with my man. After our dinner (mmm… curry!) we decided to swing by the furniture store because we needed a bench and we had no kids to jump on every. single. bed. (Don’t worry, my embarrassing moment does not involve a bed. Thank heavens.)
Once inside the store we acquired an over-zealous salesman who velcro-ed himself to us as we strolled around the store looking for benches with attached coat racks. (Don’t ask, it was my husband’s dream.) One of the super fancy benches even had a full-length mirror built in. I stopped, pulled in by the laser beam of body checking. As I was quickly running down my mental list – makeup? hair? dress not tucked into my undies? – the salesman looked at me in the mirror and exclaimed, “Wow, you look really thin!”
I smiled and blushed a little bit as my husband added, “That’s because she is!” (He is seriously The Best when it comes to weight stuff. He honestly doesn’t notice if I gain or drop 30 pounds. At first I was a little put off by what I thought was him being terribly unobservant but then I realized he really just doesn’t care what I weigh. Not a bit. That’s a gift.)
But just as I was feeling it, the salesman turned to look at me and added, “Wow, that’s a huge difference! I had no idea that mirror could do that! Cool!!” Thankfully he was so busy gushing about how amazing the skinnifying mirror was that he didn’t see me melt into a puddle of curry, embarrassment and delicious tangy candy on the floor.
Stupid skinnifying mirror.
Forget vanity sizing in clothing, the newest trend in pandering to our vanity is sitting on, well, the vanity. A new company called, duh, The Skinny Mirror, is pimping a special mirror made out of slightly concave glass that makes you look just a bit taller and slimmer than you really are, to the tune of about 10 pounds. They say it’s to boost your self esteem. And I suppose if your self esteem is based on how skinny you look (a losing proposition if there ever was one, as evidenced by my furniture store debacle), then I imagine they work. That said, I take exception to these upgraded funhouse mirrors for two reasons:
1. What happens when you go outside and see your reflection in, well, any other reflective surface? Windows, table tops, mirrors in public bathrooms – all warp our bodies in different ways. Some make us look amazing while others make us look one burrito shy of delivering a food baby. Maybe twins. I’m going to make the argument that no mirror gives a 100% accurate version of what we truly look like. So why play games with them on purpose? If you give the Almighty Mirror that much power in the first place then that means that when you see yourself reflected later on in a non skinnyifying glass you’re just going to feel worse about yourself. Who needs that roller coaster?
2. They’re actually not new. Not at all. And it isn’t just furniture stores that trade in lies (LIES I tell you!). Retail stores have been using this trick for years. Whether it’s from actual mirrors glazed to make you look thinner or regular mirrors angled downward (true story: check out the mirrors in popular higher end stores like Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch – the tops are often angled slightly out from the wall, tilting the mirror downward), the effect is the same: a subtle stroke to your ego that yes, you look amazing in their clothes. And not just amazing but better in their clothes than everyone else’s. Hello money! Would you like to just jump from my purse into the till?
This is exactly how I ended up with a very expensive pair of jeans that have those patch pockets stitched on each thigh – a sartorial nightmare for someone whose “trouble” spot (that I’m learning to love but just not in jeans, yet) is her thighs. I remember prancing for a good ten minutes in front of the mirror in the store and admiring how slim and curvy I looked in a style that I never thought I could rock. And then I got home and put them on. Turns out I still couldn’t rock them. Le sigh.
Honestly I can’t see much of a difference between the image on the left and the one in the middle… Although I’m wondering now if the company picked a model that looks a lot like Kate Middleton in her skivvies on purpose?
The Skinny Mirror people, for their part, think they’re doing the public a service. They say:
‘Nothing is more gorgeous than the self-assurance that comes from feeling good in your own skin.
‘The Skinny Mirror compliments you every time you look in it, boosting confidence and improving self-image before you walk out the door,’ they say.
‘It’s the same feeling you get when someone tells you, “You look nice today”.
‘Some customers claim with daily use of The Skinny Mirror, they have become less obsessed with losing weight and more focused on eating healthy and exercising, resulting in healthier and happier weight loss.’
I get what they’re saying. Except that with the skinny mirror I would know it’s an illusion. Hopefully when a friend says I look nice they’re actually telling the truth. Maybe if you didn’t know you had a Skinny Mirror then it would provide that self esteem boost? (Help Wanted: Person, preferably with experience in cat burglary, to sneak into women’s homes and replace mirrors…) Nobody wants a friend that lies to them, right?
As for the bit about it motivating people to eat healthier and exercise more by showing them what they “could” look like, I dunno. I know that kind of motivation works for some people but for me it usually backfires and makes me feel worse that I don’t look as good as I “ideally” could.
What about you – have you ever been tricked by a skinnifying mirror? Do you think it would be fun to own one or would it drive you nuts because you would know it wasn’t true?
And then there’s this version… Apparently it’s an ad for low-fat butter spread? One more reason to stay away from the fake stuff!