In news that will shock approximately no one, it turns out that clothing stores are forking out the big bucks for “skinny mirrors” to flatter shoppers (and, you know, fool them into buying clothes).
If you’re a woman who has ever bought clothes from a shop, you will know that this happens all the freaking time.
Just last month I went shopping with my sister and it happened to me.
I tried on some clothes in the change room and everything looked great. But then, I got home. And somehow, I had magically gained 5kg since leaving the store. In all the wrong places.
Suddenly, my shiny new purchases didn’t look as flattering as they had a few hours before. And I was left feeling pretty deflated, to say the least.
This was my first reaction:
Which was shortly followed by this:
So it didn’t surprise me at all when I discovered that there is an actual company out there whose sole purpose in life is to create and sell these evil weapons of mass deception.
The Skinny Mirror company’s Facebook page says: “The Skinny Mirror uses curved glass offering a subtle slimming reflection, giving users a welcomed boost of confidence.” That’s right, folks – its creators claim this miraculous device helps to “empower” women.
But wait. It gets better.
Because the company has the nerve to claim – wait for it – that the mirror will actually HELP people to lose weight though The Power of Visualisation and Instant (Visual) Weight Loss Gratification.
If you are thinking that sounds like a load of marketing hogwash designed purely to shill clothes – you’d be right!
But here’s where it stops being funny and starts making me really mad. These people say that the Skinny Mirror actually helps women to learn to love their bodies.
They are claiming that deluding women and making them believe a lie, only to get home and realise it was all baloney, is a good thing. And I’m not buying it.
Because while the Skinny Mirror might make some people feel motivated and inspired and warm and fuzzy, it sure as hell doesn’t make me feel like that.
To me, it feels like a sneaky, exploitative way for brands to sell their clothes and make people feel pretty rotten about themselves in the process.
Exploiting women’s insecurities and body hang-ups for profit is nothing new, but it doesn’t make it ok. It’s a pretty nasty, insidious marketing tool.
As women, we’re confronted with a barrage of impossible beauty standards every single day. In every ad and magazine and movie we are shown an airbrushed, photoshoped image of ‘perfection’. It sucks, and it needs to change, but to a certain extent, we’re used to it.
But when it is our OWN image that starts to get warped? That’s seriously dangerous.
Because while most of us will be able to laugh off the Skinny Mirror as an annoying inconvenience, there will be plenty of those who can’t. Those with self-esteem issues or eating disorders, for example. And for those people? A bad experience with a Skinny Mirror could be devastating.
So from now on? I’ll be shopping online. At least it beats being sold a lie in the change rooms.
Do you think having Skinny Mirrors in shops is a good idea?
Next time you feel bad about yourself in (or out) of the change rooms, remember this…