I first became aware of the phenomenon about a decade ago.
It was in a CVS Pharmacy, of all places. It must have been Christmastime, because they had a plethora of cheap-Christmas-gift-Merchandise on hand.
And there was a “full-length” mirror – or at least it was a long rectangular mirror about four feet high. It had the world’s cheapest frame around it, and a pricetag of $10.
But I caught a glimpse of myself in it as I passed by, and was magnetically drawn back to it… and could barely tear my eyes away. I had instantaneously lost at least 20 pounds.
All the fitness-trainer-endorsed diet pills for $50 a bottle in the entire store couldn’t make me lose weight as fast as that ridiculously cheap mirror.
I still regret not buying that mirror…
I mean, it’s really great to teach your kids to boost your self-esteem like Mama Hen trained us to do, but to have a mirror that would visually lie to you every single day of your life – that is priceless.
Since that fateful day, I have been keenly aware of the existence of skinny mirrors and their evil stepsister, fat mirrors.
But how was he to know? Only a girl can truly judge the weightiness of a mirror.
Plus, it helps me keep a realistic image of myself.
However, the $3 pink-plastic-framed mirror that he bought Ali (so that she could be like Mommy) is, indeed, a skinny mirror.
So, if I’m ever feeling especially self-conscious about my post-babyishness, I sneak into her room to see the skinny person that exists somewhere inside of me.
But, I believe that retail stores are beginning to learn of the skinny mirror / fat mirror phenomenon and are starting to take advantage of my weakness for a flattering self-image…
In particularly, Express.
I’ve never quite understood why Express was one of my favorite stores, and why I tended to buy more there than anywhere else. Until last week.
Chris had given me an Express gift certificate to buy some post-baby clothes. I am well aware of my post-pregnancy state-of-body, and so when I looked in that mirror and saw a much smaller, not-post-partum version of myself, I all of a sudden knew EXACTLY why I loved that store so much.
(That, plus the fact that they size all of their pants two sizes smaller than they really are…)
I walked out of that dressing room, bought every piece of clothing I tried on, even though I had full knowledge that they wouldn’t look as good anywhere else, and asked the sales clerk if I could please rent out their dressing rooms to get our family photos taken – in their mirrors.
I don’t think he knew just how serious I was.