Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Apparently it’s not the person who spends the most time in front of it.

A study from the Institute of Psychiatry shows that spending 10 minutes in front of the mirror every day can lead to insecurity. Researchers were even surprised to find that participants who started the study content with their appearance gradually became more depressed the more they looked at their own reflection.


The study used 25 subjects who were happy with their looks and 25 who were suffering from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which is an ailment that causes incessant worry about shape and appearance. They were put through two series of mirror-gazing sessions, with the first lasting 25 seconds and the second lasting 10 minutes. They also answered questionnaires about their looks before and after both times.

The BDD patients scored themselves negatively, but to the surprise of researchers, the healthy contingent also developed anxiety in their results.

The good news for guys is that we’re less self-conscious and only check ourselves out about 18 times a day on average, compared to women, who look at themselves a whopping 38 times per day.

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