Do mirrors lie? This one does! And it may be coming to a retail store near YOU!

I attended a wedding over the weekend. I chatted with a lovely young couple during the reception who expressed an interest in my first and next book. They said they couldn't find a regular room in the hotel where they were staying so they ended up booking a bridal suite for the night. The next detail they shared after hearing about vanity sizing took me by surprise: Their suite has a slimming mirror! 

When I got home later I had to look that up. Maybe the mirror was simply warped? 


There is, in fact, a new mirror called "The Skinny Mirror," and the manufacturer purports to be selling "The Truth" to women because, they reveal, a woman's view of herself is skewed by the media and well, an honest mirror. "I'm not skinny enough" is one of the lies a woman believes, they claim. 

The same company sponsored a "double blind" study and put one of their mirrors in a "popular underwear retailer." They report that women were "more comfortable" and had a "more positive attitude toward their bodies." 

What were the results for the underwear retailer? Sales rose by 18.2%. We can only assume that would translate to more sales of "Skinny Mirrors."

If you think this is a dirty trick, the manufacturer promises that the mirror is a "truer reflection" of what you really look like:
Women who had been exposed to The Skinny Mirror did not believe that they were more “skinny” than they really were. The Skinny Mirror© did not lead to body size distortion because most women believe they are 2-3 sizes larger than they are.
Yet, in their press release they state:
The Skinny Mirror offers a subtle slimming reflection (5-10 lbs) that works on the psyche over time. It gives the users the instant visual gratification of a “slimmer you” while educating that how you choose to feel about your body has nothing to do with your actual shape, size or weight.
So, if I have this right, I'll sum this marketing philosophy in my own words:

When a woman looks in a non-distorting mirror and sees an accurate reflection of how she really looks standing in front of it, she can't trust her own perceptions because she will see a distorted image.

Placing a Skinny Mirror in a retail store helps women because it distorts women's distortions in such a way that women can finally get the skinny on the truth about how they look.

When women look in a distorted mirror and see the truth they are more likely to spend real money.

By spending more money, they fatten the wallets of both retailers and manufacturers while feeling great!



  1. This is so wrong.
    When I look in the mirror, I want to know how I really look. If the clothes are highlighting something I don't want highlighted, I want to know before I plunk my money down.
    When I put it on at home and look in my own mirror, I want the same thrill I have in the store when the outfit is just right. Not go, "I thought I looked better than this." Now that would be depressing.

    1. Excellent points. The study did not seem to examine if the percentage of customers who used the mirror demonstrated a higher rate of returns. It almost seems like it's violating truth in advertising.


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