• Isabel Beariault

A World Without Mirrors

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? My daily morning routine consists of basically snoozing my alarm until I am 100% certain that I will be late to school. When I finally get up, I meander to the bathroom and groggily stare at my tired face in the mirror, telling myself that I just have to make it to the weekend to be able to sleep again. Then, using the mirror as a guide, I quickly try to fix my look with some quick concealer or mascara. Finally, I watch myself brush my teeth, comb my hair and run out of the bathroom. I am pretty confident that most Holton girls’ routines are similar and that almost all of the routines include spending time in front of the mirror.

But what would the world be like if there were no mirrors? Well, let me tell you. There would be no way to know what you looked like other than what your friends and family would describe to you. You wouldn’t know if your mascara had smudged or if you had lettuce stuck between your teeth unless someone told you. I guess the word “trust” would take on a whole different meaning. Now think of the typical morning routine. Without mirrors, it would probably consist of waking up, walking to the bathroom and… staring at the blank wall in front of you. You wouldn’t be able to see how tired you are or even how you have pillow marks on the side of your face. Would we then blindly apply makeup to our faces or just not use makeup at all? Honestly, just the simple notion of not having a mirror would mess up your entire routine.

But mirrors are used in so many more ways than just to look at yourself. The first telescopes and microscopes rely on mirrors. If we didn’t have mirrors, we might not have studied bacteria or our solar system. Without this basic scientific knowledge and the ability to reflect, we could not have achieved many of the scientific breakthroughs we take for granted today. According to legend, ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes used mirrors, which magnify sunlight, to defend his hometown against the Romans. Think about it. So much of what we study in physics, biology, chemistry and even history is solely dependent on mirrors.

Furthermore, even something as simple as driving would change. Normally when you drive, it is easy to use the mirrors to see all around the car. Without mirrors, we would have to be constantly jerking our heads to look behind us. The number of car accidents would dramatically increase. Imagine living in a world where your parents wouldn’t let you be in a car because cars were too dangerous.

What about trying clothes on in a store? You wouldn’t be able to see if you looked good in a particular shirt if you couldn’t get the full view. If you’re thinking that you could just take a photo of yourself to look at, even cameras use mirrors!

As you can see, mirrors are an integral part of our society, essentially embedded in its foundation. Yet, we barely give the piece of shiny metal (or plastic) a second glance. Notice that I have yet to talk about phones. iPhone cameras unfortunately don’t use mirrors to work, so our technology has found ways around using these essential reflecting surfaces. Does that mean we are moving towards a society without mirrors? I don’t know. You let me know.