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Do People See What I See In The Mirror? Peering Into Mirrors


Do People See What I See In The Mirror

There are many mysterious things in our world today that we need to think about, and some of them are around us, and we don’t give them the thoughts they deserve. 

Everyone has a mirror in their house, and while you look at the stars for mystery, they have a ton of it.

Mirrors have been a part of human civilizations for centuries, and it is clear that their place is growing as more people get concerned about their appearance. Today, we will look deeper into the mirror and unravel how it works and what you see in it;

Do People See What I See In The Mirror?

People see the reverse of what you see in the mirror; when a mirror reflects an image, it inverts it left to right so you will see the opposite of what other people see. 

You can use a true mirror to show you an image that other people will see, but standard mirrors produce a reverse. You look different in selfies and pictures because your brain knows the inverted image.

How Do Mirrors Work?

When light hits an apple, the apple absorbs all the colors except red, and so it reflects red back into your eyes; hence it appears red. A mirror has two parts, a piece of glass and a thin metal film behind it.

Glass is transparent, so when light hits a mirror, it goes through the glass and gets to the metal film, which doesn’t absorb any colors; thus, it reflects all of them. This property is why you can see yourself in a mirror.

Snow can also reflect all the colors, but you can’t see your reflection in it because of its smoothness. 

Snow has a rough, bumpy surface that reflects all the colors in the spectrum; since all the colors combine to form white light, snow appears white.

On the other hand, the metal film is smooth; thus, it can reflect light more directly, and you can see an image. 

There are two common types of mirrors, a concave mirror and a convex mirror, and they have different properties; thus, we use them in different places.

Concave mirrors magnify the object; thus, you will have an enlarged image that will seem bigger and closer to you than the object. 

Convex mirrors form a diminished image, meaning the objects are more prominent and closer than they seem.

These two differences come in when thinking about side mirrors for vehicles. A concave mirror will magnify any vehicles behind you, and you wouldn’t be able to see them well. You would also see them as more extensive and closer to you, making driving very stressful.

A convex mirror diminishes the image; thus, the traffic looks smaller, and you can see more vehicles in a small mirror. 

You need to remember that the mirror diminishes the image and image distance; thus, anything you see in the side mirror is closer than it looks.

Rearview mirrors and side mirrors are essential in cars, and it would be perilous to drive a car without them. 

You will see an inverted image of yourself in concave mirrors if you stand beyond the mirror’s focal point. 

In concave mirrors, the reflective surface curves inward; thus, it will reflect the light rays on the lower side upwards and those on the upper side downwards; hence the image turns upside down. 

This means that there is a limit to how far you can stand from a concave mirror or how much you can bend it. 

Most standard mirrors are straight, so they don’t magnify or diminish images; instead, they only invert the images, retaining their shapes and sizes.

Why You Look Better In The Mirror Than Pictures

This must have happened to you at some point; you look at yourself in the mirror and look stunning, but you don’t look as good when someone takes a picture. 

We are going into the details to see why there is a difference between your image on the mirror and in the picture;

You look fantastic in the mirror and not so good in the pictures, so you must have wondered which version of you is the real one. You will be happy to know that you don’t look as bad as in pictures, but the mirror is inaccurate.

The first issue with the mirror is that it’s a reflection, so you won’t see what other people see; instead, it is a reverse. This is why sometimes you look worse in pictures than in the mirror; it is not what we are used to.

To other people, you look good, but it seems worse to you because you are accustomed to seeing yourself in reverse. 

The way you look in the mirror is ingrained in your brain, so anything different is abnormal, and it looks worse than it is.

Each day when you shave, brush your teeth or do your hair, you look at yourself, so when you see a photo, it’s an unestablished version; thus, your brain doesn’t accept it. We have established that the mirror isn’t what you look like, is the photo the real you?

You will be happy to know that the picture does not accurately represent your appearance. When taking a photo, you need to consider the angles, lighting, and facial expressions; thus, there is a wide range of your looks in the photo.

The environmental factors play a significant role in how you look, but they are not the only factors you need to account for; the lens of your camera or phone will also make a difference. Lens distortion can affect how your face looks depending on how far you are from it.

This may make certain features look more significant or extended than real life; photos will also flatten your face to attain a 2-D appearance. 

Lighting, especially flashes from cameras, can affect how we look in pictures, and you might end up looking worse in a picture.

This is because the cameras can’t adjust lightness or darkness like your eyes do. A harsh flash can also make you look shiny and greasy, and this explains why you look awful when you see those photos you took with a flash.

Another reason you look worse in photos is how unnatural it is, so you might pose awkwardly in a photo. 

Mostly when you smile, it isn’t your natural smile since you are forcing it, and you might not be as relaxed or confident as you are in front of a mirror.

What Color Is The Mirror? 

Mirrors reflect our images in colored versions, and we see ourselves exactly as we are in terms of color, but what about a mirror? What color is it? Let us get into the details and break this down;

The human eye can differentiate 10 million different colors, which is hard for you to remember but fun to know. 

When thinking about a mirror, the first color to come to your mind is silver since most people illustrate mirrors that way.

We make mirrors out of silver or silvery things like aluminum, so it seems they are silver. In reality, mirrors are whatever color you point them at; in a green room, the mirror is green. An object is whatever color it doesn’t absorb.

A red object, for instance, will absorb all the colors in the spectrum except red, which they reflect into your eyeballs.

A perfect mirror reflects all colors equally, so you can say a mirror is white, but a mirror won’t reflect light like a pigment. 

A perfect mirror reflects the incoming light ray in one outgoing direction, which creates an image of the item in front of the mirror. 

We don’t use perfect mirrors, so they absorb a small amount of light, too little to notice in one reflection.

Looking at how a mirror reflects the spectrum, you will realize it best reflects colors within the 510-nanometer range; we perceive this as the green light. This, together with a mirror tunnel, would suggest that a mirror is a little bit green.

A mirror tunnel is when two mirrors face each other, and they reflect the same scene back and forth as they lose visible light with each reflection, but green is the most persistent. This leads to the reflection down the tunnel being dimmer and greener. 

This means that real-life mirrors are not perfect, they are green, but the concentration is only so tiny that you have to use experiments to see them. 


People don’t see you the way you see it in a mirror since the image is a reflection and the mirror inverts the light rays. This means it will shift your left side to right and right side to the left but leave your image upright; thus, your image is the opposite of what people see.

You might notice that you look worse in pictures, but that is not necessarily true. The lighting and angle can make your picture look bad, but your brain plays tricks on you in most cases.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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