Very often do we look in the mirror and instantly fall in love with ourselves. We start liking our look for the day so much that we decide to take a ‘Good hair selfie’, ‘Good looks’ selfie and so on. While for some, it’s a daily routine to take a morning selfie, but it ain’t that good to look at. It’s a true fact that we tend to like ourselves more in a mirror image of ours rather than in a photograph or a portrait. How often have you observed it on your own before I said it here?
But have you ever wondered why is it so?
Well, there’s a psychological aspect related to this behavior of ours. Right from our childhood, we recognize ourselves by looking into a mirror. Our mind perceives ourselves as a mirror image of us. We have grown up seeing ourselves in that way only for an uncountable number of times for an uncountable number of days. Be it waking up in the morning, or right before going to the bed, and ahem, too often it is a time pass(this was for you, narcissist), we prefer taking a look in the mirror. According to how the human mind behaves, works and reacts to changes is quite predictable. It tries resisting changes, that’s what certain physical laws state, though change being such an inevitable thing. A changed depiction of ours in photographs or portraits strikes hard on our rebellion mind and as basic as it is, we tend to hate us in that photograph.
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Well, do you remember saying, “Nah, I don’t look good in this pic, man!” or, “Delete this photograph, I am the worst version of myself in this one !” Yeah, you got it right, that is where knowingly or unknowingly we have noticed this very “truth of life”.
Here comes another question, why do we don’t consider other people looking bad in a photo? The answer to it is that we see them as they are. We don’t see other people laterally inverted everytime we see them and that’s how the camera lens captures them, exactly in the same orientation as our mind had perceived them to be over all these years. Not that they are beautiful or something or the camera has some special grudge against you, but the mere difference in the perception of ‘people’ and ‘you’ by your brain. While you are laterally inverted in your brain, other people aren’t.
The second most considerable reason for such behavior of ours can be explained through physics alone. We dread it though, but it comes handy here. The lens of our eye has much more pixels and resolution power than any camera can ever have. For all these years, we are loving ourselves for the very intricate details of ours, and of course, the clarity that the eye lens can offer. But when we see ourselves in a picture, most of these details are lost due to the limited capabilities of the camera, and the certain aspects of ours which we have fallen for, we do not find them there and thus don’t like it.
Another reason being, when we look ourselves in the mirror, we adjust ourselves accordingly so that ‘It looks good’, and ‘feels good’, for that’s what one wants in life. We can move our hand or tilt our head accordingly to position ourselves where we look good. When things are the way we want, it appeals to us. While we are being captured, it’s the art of the photographer that he captures us in the right pose. While it might be appealing to him, but not to us, and this seems to be another plausible explanation. We do not know what the photographer is capturing. And after we have seen the picture, and find it somewhat ugly, we ask him to click again with a ‘Better pose’. Don’t we?
In a survey, it has been found that if both flipped and original images of a person they didn’t know were shown to them, the participants chose one of the two at a 1:1 ratio. Thus, it is clear that there is no preferred orientation of the face that one might prefer. In yet another survey, the participants were made to choose amongst the flipped and original images of a person they knew, and 90% of them chose the original one.
Well, I assume that you have got the answers to the questions now. So next time you feel ugly by looking at a photograph of yours, don’t feel bad because that is not the case. It’s all in your head. Go by what you see in the mirror and not what your camera shows you!