Retailers Using "Skinny Mirrors" To Boost Sales

Look, I am a regular human being of average height and build who will occasionally go into a dressing room and feel sorry for myself even when I am feeling my most confident. That is the breaks of getting naked in a public place with bad lighting. And while I am totally behind improving lighting and space in a dressing room to make people feel more confident, I draw the line at the "Skinny Mirrors" that retailers are using to boost their sales.

The mirror is altered just enough that the person's reflection still looks realistic, but slightly slimmed down. I get that, in the short-term, this may save some body angst, but by promoting things like this we are missing the root of the problem: there shouldn't be any body angst in the first place. Trying to put fancy mirrors in a dressing room that make people look skinnier is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound (that is, assuming there is any altruistic motivation behind these mirrors, which there clearly isn't; there are designed to make people feel more positive about the clothes they're trying on, not their bodies).

The problem here isn't what we look like; it's the fact that society has even dictated this standard of beauty in the first place, and put pressure on women to starve themselves to look a certain way. We have to find ways to address the unrealistic body standards and teach women that they are beautiful just the way they are, rather than beautiful just the way they would be if they were the woman in the fake mirror.

The mirrors were originally just meant for home use, and I see less harm in that, because at least people are aware of the alteration. But even though these "Skinny Mirrors" are supposed to have labels on them, creator Belinda Jasmine says that retailers are already requesting they be taken off, essentially giving them the chance to lie to their customers. At what point does this stop becoming a "body confidence" issue and spiral into something meant entirely for financial gain? If the retailers (none of which have been named) get away with that, they're basically lying to their entire customer base.

What is super jarring to me is that the Facebook page of "Skinny Mirror" seems to also be aggressively trying to promote good body image and celebrate women's bodies. I cannot wrap my head around reconciling the idea of a company telling you to be confident in your own skin and selling a product that encourages you to like yourself better when you look thinner. The mere existence of this product is perpetuating the lack of confidence women already have. Pick a side, "Skinny Mirror," because you can't have both.

Images: Skinny Mirror/Facebook; Giphy