Like practically everything else in life, my beef with dressing rooms has an appropriate Seinfeld reference--remember when Elaine blamed Barneys for convincing her, with its ambient lighting and "skinny mirrors," that a dress made her look like a million bucks, only to traipse around the city in search of other, less-biased mirrors for a more honest opinion? I feel her pain.
The Budget Fashionista recently discovered that Forever 21 (and a slew of other stores) use some pretty shady tricks to make you look as fabulous as possible inside their stores, tempting you to make purchases you might otherwise skip if your mind weren't entranced by your own gorgeous reflection, a la Narcissus. So just how is it done? The Budget Fashionista says, "Through the clever use of tilted mirrors, which tilt towards you at the bottom and gradually tilt away from you at the top. This trick makes you appear 'smaller' by gradually moving the largest part of your body (your torso) away from the smallest part of your body (your feet) . Think of it as a reconfigured Funhouse mirror, distorting your body to make you look thinner (and buy more) rather than to make you laugh."
And the tomfoolery doesn't end there, dolls: "They also use soft, amber lighting (aka 'Oprah Light'), that makes even the most aesthetically challenged of us look hot (like how EVERYONE in Oprah’s audience looks like they just had a facial). This light makes your skin look better by evening out your skin tone. "
It wouldn't be so bad, she goes on to say, if Forever 21 didn't have such an unforgiving return policy--once you think you look gorge in that dress, you're stuck with it (or its equivalent in store credit).
I'm sorry, but...what the heck?! Don't we women have enough body image issues to deal with in a dressing room without worrying if those extra squats are actually paying off, or whether it's just a store's sneaky way to try and get us to part with our hard-earned money? It's not always convenient to bring an honest second opinion along, and there's no more devastating feeling than getting your brand new, fabulously svelte-ifying dress home only to discover that you blew $50 on something that most definitely doesn't make you look like you've been living on veggies and tofu (not to mention the torture your poor boyfriend/husband/significant other must endure when the inevitable questions of "does this make my butt look big?" come out).
Yes, we all want to look gorgeous. Yes, we sometimes engage in some silly acts to trick ourselves into feeling so. But those should be our choices--not some chain store that's just looking to make a quick buck off of women's insecurities. What do you think, gals? Are you as riled up about dressing rooms as I am? Do you ever fall in love with something in the store, only to get it home and discover it's less than flattering? How do you deal with it? Discuss!
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