When Snow White’s evil stepmother asked her magic mirror, as she did every morning, who is the fairest one of all, it always responded, “My Queen, you are the fairest one of all.” That is, until one day. Snow White had matured into a striking young woman and the mirror told the truth. “My Queen,” the mirror proclaimed, “you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you.”
Ooops! Not so good for Snow White in the short term. While the huntsman, who the queen had charged with killing her, spares her life, Snow White ends up bunking with seven dwarfs—some of whom are messy or depressed or clinically shy or just grumpy.
The first mirrors were most likely pools of dark, still water, or water collected in a primitive vessel. Inconvenient. There wasn’t always an accessible, placid body of water in which to see one’s reflection. The mirror, as we know it today, was a great invention by a German chemist in 1835. We all owe him much gratitude!
Mirrors have been used in literature, songs, and film. Think not only fairy tales, but the “Twilight Zone” and “Stargate SG1.” No reflection? You could be a vampire…or a really bad housekeeper.
Mirrors DO tell the truth. And, we should all take advantage of those truths. The mirror really can be magical if we view ourselves honestly. Put your glasses on! No smoke in our mirrors. Not surprisingly, the question we should pose as we stand before our mirrors differs from that of the evil stepmother—and, there is more than one. (And, please note that all genders should be posing these or similar questions. Feel free to personalize.)
- How do we look from behind as well as from the side and the front?
- How do we look bending over? Does the outfit expose our muffin top? And, we’re not talking the blueberry version. Beware that dreaded plumber’s crack; it invites wise “cracks.”
- Is this fabric our friend? Does it cling and highlight problem areas?
- Do the colors complement our skin tone? (Remember the Color Me Beautiful guidebook?)
- Do our slacks form an unattractive camel toe at the crotch or simply reveal TMI? If so, time to head back to the closet for a different top.
- Are we emphasizing the good and minimizing the not so good?
Don’t forget that just because you can fit into a size 10 doesn’t mean you are one! We look much slimmer wearing clothes that actually fit rather than something too small.
And, remember, mirrors can also tell us how clothes look after wearing them all day, whether they are truly wash and wear, or if they still look good after losing or gaining some weight.
A quick aside. You don’t need a mirror to scrap socks with sandals. We know designers today say that look is acceptable, after long dissing it as a fashion faux pas. After all, professional athletes do it. If you must, at least wear clean and attractive socks without holes in the toes.
Rhetorical question: Why do department stores’ dressing rooms include three-way mirrors????
You get the picture?? The mirror is our truthful fashion advisor. And not just at the store. The mirror is your friend at home.
We should all have a three-way mirror. Failing that, get a good sized wall mirror and use a hand-held that will create your own three-way view!…albeit a bit less graphic.
Don’t always rely on a partner or friend’s feedback. Honesty is sometimes not the best policy, and many being questioned prefer to keep the peace and fib. Often, you’d be better off asking a stranger. We’ve had our moments of honesty in department store’s dressing rooms.
One of those occasion occurred when a young woman was trying on long gowns for her prom, most of which looked…well…awful. We weren’t ogling or spying, just taking our turns in front of the dressing room’s three-way mirror. Bonding. So, we felt comfortable saying that a certain gown not only truly looked best, but complemented the color of her arm tattoos. For a moment, we panicked about being a bit too honest. But, she thanked us and proudly marched to the check-out counter with our choice.
One interior designer contends that mirrors are the most misused, abused, and overused items in the world of home decorating—found everywhere they shouldn’t be and nowhere they should be.
He recommends mirrors in foyers for guests to check themselves out before entering a roomful of people. He envisions dressing rooms with the widest of mirrors or a closet fully mirrored. He doesn’t like cutesy, tiny bathroom mirrors. He wants them big and positioned so that everyone, short and tall, can see themselves without stretching or hunching.
So, our wrinkled wisdom for today? Hop in the car now…immediately…at once…head to the store to buy that needed, truth-telling mirror. Use it! Remember that just because a style walked down the runway, doesn’t mean it will look good on you in the real world. If you can’t do it justice and own it, sit it out. And, if the mirror responds verbally to the questions posed, cut down on the drinking!