The horror of mirrors in movie theatre bathrooms

Mirrors. Like many people, I have a love/hate relationship with mirrors. I use one to apply my makeup, but ignore the tiny wrinkles at the corners of my eyes. I use one to style my hair, but carefully avoid looking at the grey hairs while doing so. I use them to adjust my clothing, but don’t want to see the size of my waist.

Looking at a beautiful image of myself in new clothes or with a new hair color is worth it. Noticing that the person next to me looks better makes it worse.

So why oh why do they put such LARGE mirrors in the restrooms at movie theatres???

It never fails. I go to the movie – one I’ve been waiting to see for some weeks. Fully half the people in line are teenagers, rowdy and flirting with each other to some degree, as teens do. Every one of them is gorgeous, because when you’re over 35, you realize that everything you thought was ugly as a teenager is actually just a uniqueness, and that every healthy young person is actually stunning. The shiny hair, the bright complexions without wrinkles, the effortless movements are all graceful. I get my ticket and proceed to the theatre to watch the show. Then on the screen, every woman is skinny and beautiful with flawless skin, impeccible hair and makeup and clothes. That goes for the commercials, the previews, and the feature movie. Of course they’re skinny and beautiful, they’re paid to be. Of course the hair and makeup and clothes are perfect, they have a whole staff to make it that way. If they were normal they’d be in an office, not on a movie screen.

So full of images of beautiful teens and women by the end of the movie, I proceed into the restroom, where in every movie theatre I have ever visited, a whole wall is dedicated to one of the largest mirrors I have ever seen. It starts at hip level, even with the skinks, and extends over my head. I glance in the mirror as I pass, and am immediately struck by one fact –

I look nothing like all the images of teens and women who have filled my eyes and mind in the past few hours.

Nothing. The differences stand out to me. The haircolor that needs retouched. The wrinkles that are now showing because the tissue (used in laughter or tears at the emotion of the movie) removed some of my makeup. The waistline that is flat or convex where every other waistline I’ve seen in the past few hours is concave. All my faults – real and imagined –  are displayed to me in this mirror. They stand out all the more because of the differences between the images I so recently put into my mind vs the images I see in this mirror.

Somehow I never remember to avoid looking in that mirror.

Why do they need those mirrors to be so large? Other than dressing room mirrors, they are the only ones I see in public that show so much. I mean, they are low enough they are below my hips! Why? Large mirrors are expensive – more expensive than tile for that much of an area. I have no idea why large mirrors in movie theatres are so prevalent.

I can’t imagine that the large mirrors bring them any business, and they just might be keeping some business away. (Especially in the snack area – who would buy snacks after seeing themselves in that light?) One of life’s mysteries I guess. For me, the mirrors in the bathroom would be a good feature for a horror film!

Have you had an experience like this? What are the mirrors in your movie theatre like?


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