The funniest thing I found out about Mirrors is that their inventor was Justus von Liebig. Lie Big! It’s disappointing that all mirror manufacturers aren’t obliged under law to have “Lie Big” engraved across the top of their mirrors.
This was in 1835. Before then, reflections weren’t that great; probably good enough to tell if your hat was straight but not enough to notice that pimple growing on your nose. Folk had to make do with polished metal plates, the richer had acolytes, servants or slaves to burnish a satisfying reflection for their master. It was a wise slave who didn’t polish too well for their ageing mistress. No, you are truly the fairest in the kingdom, ma’am – if only this tin plate had more shine, you could see for yourself.
How long until the mirror is obsolete due to this error? Has anyone tried putting on mascara or lipstick, or brushing their teeth looking at an iPad, or other tablet, using its camera app? I might try this out as an experiment tonight; the teeth business, I mean – I never wear mascara to bed.
The obvious big lie, I trust, when looking at yourself in a mirror, is that it isn’t you you’re seeing; it’s a mirror image. We get so used to the mirror image, it can be a shock seeing yourself as others do. This could be why many people hate seeing themselves close up in photographs. They don’t recognise themselves, their personal identity is called into question.
The second big lie is how we look at ourselves in mirrors. Not as others would look at us, as we look at others, that is taking in the whole of their face in one go. Instead, we nearly always pick on a single part of our face and study it intently. The consequence of this can be that we notice flaws which are unnoticeable to any other person but to us seem hugely evident. The mirror persuades us we are just an enormous nose, a sagging chin, the guy with one eye lower than the other. We are monsters, and we have the mirror to thank for that.
It is said, the Vampire has no reflection. Strangely enough, neither do people born between five minutes to eleven and five past on the night of the 29th February. It’s uncanny. No, wait, it’s just another big lie.