Experts Explain Why We Always Look Better in the Mirror


According to a survey, women in the United Kingdom stare in the mirror more than 70 times every day on average. And it’s not surprising; we’ve all been there, getting dressed, making sure our hair and cosmetics are on point. Then someone takes a picture of you and you look terrible in it as if you’re two different individuals! Relax, you’re not alone in your feelings. There is a scientific explanation for it.

The mirror is reversing us.

The image in the mirror is a reversed representation of the way we truly look, therefore what we see when we look in the mirror isn’t reality. And because we see ourselves in the mirror every day, we’ve grown accustomed to this inverted version. It’s referred to as the mere effect. So, if you don’t see yourself in images very often, you don’t know what you look like, so be prepared to be surprised.

© kyliejenner / instagram

Immediate control

We have complete and immediate control when we look in the mirror. If we don’t like the angle, we immediately adjust our face and posture, as well as our facial expression, to create a more pleasing appearance. When it comes to photos, we usually only see ourselves after the picture has been shot. Posing techniques can aid in this situation. It’s also beneficial to understand your strong and weak sides, as well as your ideal angles.


It is all about lighting.

Our brains are wired in such a manner that when we look in the mirror, we don’t notice lighting changes because our brains instantly even it out and offer us a display of our face that is similar to what we’re used to seeing. A camera, on the other hand, does not work this way; instead, it catches all of the tones and shadows objectively and plays an important part in photographing. “The light can either make it or break it!” as photographers say.


Our faces are really not perfectly symmetrical.

Nobody’s face is perfectly symmetrical. Compare sections of your face by flipping them over – they’re very different. We’re accustomed to viewing ourselves from one or a few certain angles, and we frequently mistake one side of the face for the other. That’s why, when we view the finished photo, we think it’s an entirely different person, and we probably find it less appealing.


Experiment with lighting, angles, and positions at home. Set a timer for yourself and see what works best for you.

You are under pressure from the surroundings.

We usually glance in the mirror when we’re at home or at least in a safe place, according to researcher Nolan Feeney. It’s typical for us to appear uptight and tight in images. We make wide eyes and extend our lips into a phony smile or duckface so we don’t blink. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to appear a specific way because most photos end up on social media.


On camera, try to be calmer; it always looks better in the end.

In the mirror, we only perceive some details.

© Beyonce / Instagram

When we look in the mirror, we normally concentrate on a single feature of our face, such as our lips, nose, or eyes, and we are unaware of how our entire face seems. When we look at a photograph, on the other hand, we see everything at once and evaluate the entire performance: our posture, facial expression, and anything else we don’t usually notice. So, once again, self-exploration may assist you in feeling more at ease in front of the camera.

We imagine ourselves to be more attractive than we actually are.

People believe they look better than they are, according to a study from the University of Chicago. Researchers chose photos of participants and turned them into better and worse-looking versions for this study. The participants were then instructed to locate original images of themselves, which they failed to do, instead opting for photos in which they appeared to be more attractive.


We spend far more time in front of the mirror than we do in front of the camera. Our brains deceive us, and the true photos appear strange. It’s not that we look bad; it’s just that we’re not used to seeing ourselves from that perspective. So the best cure is to go both ways and explore yourself!


Do you have any tips for looking good in photos? In the comments box below, we’d love to see your suggestions and photos!