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Ask Marilyn: Why Do We Look Better in a Mirror Than in a Photo?
Loren Booda of Arlington, Virginia, writes:
Marilyn: What I see in the mirror and what I see when I view a photo of myself are so different. Generally, I’m satisfied with the "live" version, but I usually dislike that same face in a photo. Why?
Because your photographed face looks backward to you. What you see in a mirror is your image reversed from left to right, and you’re familiar with that look. A photo, however, shows you what others see. When you see your face that way, it looks strange to you—you notice every asymmetry (no face is symmetrical) and imperfection.
For example, say one eye is slightly smaller than the other, which is common. Because you’ve seen your eyes that way in the mirror all your life, you don’t perceive any difference. But when you view a photo, something about your eyes looks wrong. And when your face is the subject, "wrong" equates to "bad"!
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