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.

And, unfortunately, the mirror that Chris so romantically gave me last Christmas (and that I took all of my pregnancy pictures in) is not, indeed, a skinny mirror.

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.

19 thoughts on “If Only I Could Live in a Skinny Mirror…

  1. ahhhh yes. evil mirrors. Just like the ones in GAP with magic lighting make my skin look flawless and gorgeous even when paired with nasty neon orange shirts that I buy and come home and try on, only to discover that mirrors in real life (magic-light-less mirrors) make me look dreadful in nasty neon orange!! go figure!! :)

  2. Skinny mirrors are a gift and an evil all in one. They give me a momentary thrill of pure joy while I stand there, but they lie blatantly to me. When I get home thinking that I look AWESOME in my new jeans, only to realize that I look hippy and wide, I want to smash the evil mirror…or stand in front of it for the rest of my life.

  3. So funny and true. Mirrors will play tricks on you the rest of your life. There is this old woman living at my house…every once in a while I see her in the mirror.

  4. I need a skinny mirror for my house. I’d also love to take pictures in the skinny mirror. My arms are looking bad. We took pictures on valentines day and I about had a stroke when I saw myself. Good thing though, I’ve lost 10lbs.. bad news is.. I’ve got lots of weight to lose. :) :) :) Now if I had one of those skinny mirrors I wouldn’t have to worry about losing weight. :) :)

  5. But I don’t like skinny mirrors (or fat mirrors). I look in a mirror to see how I look and if the mirror is distorting me that’s all I can focus on. “That is not how wide I am”, I say, then walk out the door in mismatched stripes and half my hair fallen out.

  6. Please, Please, can I have a skinny mirror?? Baby is 5 months old and I officially need to do SOMETHING already! We joined the gym yesterday… here’s hoping I can at least fit into my prepreggo pants again. Wah!

  7. While not as good as a skinny mirror….I’ve heard that if you tilt your mirror so the bottom is sticking out more than the top, you will look thinner. I think the Gap does that.

    1. I tested your theory with Ali’s skinny mirror, and you’re right!! I even looked skinnier when I tilted it!! I’m going to have to trade mirrors with her…

  8. Oh, I have definitely had these same thoughts at stores! Great idea about having your pictures taken in a skinny mirror! Who cares what size we are in real life if we have skinny pictures to look back on. :) Actually I DO have skinny pictures to look back on…otheriwse known as those days before marriage and kids pictures. :)

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