Mirrors are thought of as private spaces to have intimate internal conversations, but what happens when they become public?
As part of an appearance obsessed society, humans will use any reflective surface to check if we are fitting societal expectations. How do humans interact with faux-mirrors? Humans are subconsciously programed to look at these reflections, inevitably leading to harmful reactions against oneself. I wanted to explore interventions that could change this self conscious habit.
I investigated an array of windows where people blatantly stopped to check themselves out, unaware of the publicity of their vanity on the other side of that window; windows that were approached head on, windows parallel to walking paths, and windows that took considerable effort to look into. Walking patterns were observed to understand how often and in what manner people looked at their reflection. On one angled window in particular, nearly everyone seemingly unintentionally changed their walking pattern to get a better view.
Experiments were then conducted on one window. A series of actual mirrors in different shapes and sizes were placed and reactions were observed. The majority looked baffled and almost embarrassed when they caught themselves looking. I then pushed it further than simply creating embarrassment by sending a direct message of encouragement. A mirror material shaped the words, “You Look Fine” across the window. This does not obstruct the reflection, but rather draws attention to the differences between an intentional mirror and a faux mirror. The warning is light and encouraging, reminding them that it is unnecessary to dwell on every reflection. They look fine.