Why Do You Look Different In A Mirror？
Usually the greatest fear after a wild night of partying isn't what you said that you might regret, but how you'll look in your friends' photos. If you left home looking like a 10, those awkward group selfies make you feel more like a 5, prompting you to wonder, "Why do I look different in pictures?" It's a weird phenomenon that is making people question their own mirrors. Are pictures the "real" you or is it your reflection? Have mirrors been lying to us this whole time?
The answer to that is a bit tricky. The good news is that there's a big chance that Quasimodo-looking creature that stares back at you in your selfies isn't an accurate depiction of the real you. But your mirror isn't completely truthful either.
The mirror is a reflection. It's not the real you.
Although we're the most comfortable and familiar with the face staring back at us while we brush our teeth in the morning, the mirror isn't really the real us. It's a reflection, so it shows how we look like in reverse. Because we're so used to seeing the reverse version of ourselves, seeing how we look in pictures can be jarring. And unless you're blessed with a perfectly symmetrical face, the photo version of yourself can be even more wonky.
“We see ourselves in the mirror all the time—you brush your teeth, you shave, you put on makeup,” Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Center, told The Atlantic. “Looking at yourself in the mirror becomes a firm impression. You have that familiarity. Familiarity breeds liking. You’ve established a preference for that look of your face.”
Scientists call this the "mere-exposure" effect. Basically, it's a behavior concocted by psychologist Robert Zajonc that says people react favorably to things they're most familiar with. So, when you see a flipped version of yourself, you immediately hate it or even find it grotesque because it's the opposite of what you're used to.
The camera lens also plays a part.
So if your reflection isn't the real you, does that mean your ugly selfies are your "true self"? Although mirrors show a flipped version of yourself, the myth that "pictures never lie" isn't completely true either. After all, most people take more than one selfie before they find their most flattering one, and usually it takes a combination of angles and lighting before landing one Instagram-worthy.
那么，如果镜像并非真实的你，这是否意味着不好看的自拍才展现了“真实的自己”？虽然镜子呈现的是我们翻转过来的样子，但“照片从不说谎”的神话也不完全属实。毕竟，大多数人自拍的时候不会只拍一张，然后会结合拍摄角度和灯光挑出一张最动人、最符合 Instagram 审美的再上传。
But the problem might not be your angles, it could be lens distortion. Because of the proximity of your face to the camera, the lens can distort certain features, making them look larger than they are in real life. Depending on your features, if you have a soft, round face, photos can flatten your features and further distort the "real" you.
Your smile could also be the culprit.
Everyone knows what it's like to pose for an awkward photo, like a driver's license or a passport. The photos never turn out looking nice, and they hardly look like our natural smiles. When you're looking at yourself in the mirror, you're relaxed, confident, and more likely to smile and act naturally. If someone shouting "Say cheese!" at you, maybe you're going to tense up and have a photo that looks different and foreign from the version you see in the mirror. It's best to relax when taking pictures and try to focus on something else. That tense, forced awkwardness will always translate to a bad photo.
1. Quasimodo n. 卡西莫多（维克多·雨果的小说《巴黎圣母院》中的驼背人的名字）
2. jarring adj. 令人不快的
3. symmetrical adj. 对称的
4. wonky adj. 不稳的，歪斜的；靠不住的
5. concoct v. 虚构，杜撰，编造（故事、借口等）
6. lens distortion 光学变形；透镜畸变
7. culprit n. 引起问题的事物