Why Looking Into A 'True Mirror' Might Be Hard For You

Mirrors allow there to be a barrier between how you really look to others versus how you look to yourself. You may believe that in all the years you've been alive, you've been seeing your true reflection in the many mirrors you have stood in front of, but John Walter, the creator of the True Mirror, would argue that you have never really seen your true self. A True Mirror is designed in such a way that you are not seeing your reflection when looking into it, but your true image as those around you see you. 

Although this idea has been around since the late 1800s, Walter was the first to promote it and introduce it to the public, with the intention being to let people see the light in their eyes as others see them, instead of a reflection. 

Videos all over TikTok have shown how moving it is for people to experience the True Mirror, but it certainly is also a perspective shift for almost all who try it. Walter himself also maintains that the True Mirror's flipped reflection is problematic for some because if you are not prepared for how altered your perception has been by regular mirrors, the truth may be unsettling. The mirror's reflection was your only form of truth for so long and at a moment's notice, you are having to readjust to the realization that how you thought you looked to everyone you've ever met is not real.

How the True Mirror works

The mirrors you have looked into your whole life don't tell the true story of how you look to others. By flipping your reflection each time you gaze into them, they have shown you a distorted image of yourself. The True Mirror, on the other hand, not only places two surface mirrors at right angles, but is also set 10 cubic inches deep in a black box, allowing the marriage of the two mirrors to appear seamless. What this does is allow you to see your image as others do, instead of flipping it; right eye to right eye and left shoulder to left shoulder.

In his many videos on TikTok, John Walter introduces people to the True Mirror by having them look in a regular mirror for about five seconds, and then turn back to the True Mirror to see the drastic difference in the perception of their appearance. Most people are shocked by what they see, and the longer they look into the True Mirror, the more intrigued they become. Since they have been looking at a regular mirror's reflection their whole lives, things are out of order from what they thought. For example, the parts in their hair are on different sides of their heads, their features seem asymmetrical, and even their facial shapes begin to appear unfamiliar. Most of the reactions shown are positive, but not everyone is up for the true look at how they appear to others.

Why looking in the True Mirror may be hard for some

Although most people experiencing the True Mirror for the first time in TikTok videos and on YouTube exhibit positive reactions, the difference is just too shocking for some. The same reason why it is hard for many to appreciate how they look in pictures is also what makes the True Mirror psychologically altering; what we see at the moment isn't what we have seen for years. 

And while it is natural to be hard on yourself at times, the True Mirror can give you a whole new set of characteristics of which to be critical. Those who deal with body dysmorphia, in particular, have worked very hard to view what they see in a mirror every day as acceptable, according to Mayo Clinic. If they are introduced to the True Mirror, they have a whole new image to try to accept and the process can be overwhelming.

If you get a chance to experience a True Mirror, it may be beneficial for you to mentally prepare for the "new you" that you will see. But don't assume the experience will be negative. According to Repeller, if you remove yourself from the critical tendencies that you have and trust the experience, you may just enjoy seeing yourself from new angles. However, if you are in a space where you aren't quite ready to deeply engage with your true image, the True Mirror experience may not be for you yet.