Beware the Retail Sorcery of the Skinny Mirror

And here is the latest trick retailers might use to convince you that OMG you definitely cannot leave here without that frighteningly teal cable-knit sweater: special curved mirrors that’ll shave a few pounds off your sidelines and a couple inches off your flanks. Nothing is real! Everything is lies!

Business Insider spotlights The Skinny Mirror, a California company that sells these IRL Photoshop jobs for $165 to $5,500. “It’s really subtle,” promised founder Belinda Jasmine, adding that the idea is to make women feel good about themselves. “My thought with The Skinny Mirror is maybe all we need to love ourselves a little more is to see ourselves in a slightly different perspective, even if it is only 5-10 lbs,” she writes on the company’s website. “The Skinny Mirror doesn’t change how you look, just changes how you see yourself.” (Not sure it works like that?) Her inspiration was an old distorted mirror that made her look heavier:

I had been mildly tortured by an old mirror that I found in the attic that made me look 5-10 lbs heavier, and 2-3 inches shorter. I had this mirror for 3 years and had no idea it was distorting my image and negatively affecting how I felt about my body….I have never in my life been this concerned and disappointed with my body. One day, I looked in my mom’s normal bedroom mirror and to my surprise, I looked skinny! The very next day, I started my mission to try to find a slimming mirror and couldn’t find one anywhere.

But while she originally planned to sell these inspirational Dove chocolate wrappers for everyday home use, she started getting orders from small boutiques, who’re still the majority of her buyers (though she’s in talks with a bigger retailer). According to the company’s own study (so, grain of salt), the result is $$$$$$$ (even though there’s a little sticker in the corner saying it’s a Skinny Mirror TM):

A recent study of 86 shoppers at a lingerie store in Sweden found that people who used a dressing room with a Skinny Mirror reported greater body satisfaction than those who used a regular mirror. More importantly, the shoppers who used a Skinny Mirror ended up purchasing more items.
88% of customers who used the Skinny Mirror made a purchase, compared to 73% of customers who used a regular mirror. the study found. Overall, the Skinny Mirror group contributed to 54% of total sales.

This is precisely why I don’t rely on mirrors. I take Polaroids instead.

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