Who’s the fairest of them all?
It’s time for Home-Deco-History Post: Round 2! Ding, ding, ding! We’re taking a deep dive into mirrorhistory.com (who knew there was such a thing?), trusty Wikipedia, and an intriguing science journal to help us reflect on mirrors. 😆 #PunIntended
Mirrors are clearly an integral part of our lives. In fact, a recent study revealed that on average, women look in the mirror about 16 times per day while men look about 23 times per day. 😎
History (WARNING: this gets a little creepy)
The flattest, smoothest, darkest body of water possible. No surprise here. 😯
6,000 B.C., Turkey
The oldest mirrors known to man were made of polished obsidian (volcanic glass), and recovered from graves in a cemetery of “secondary burials.” A secondary burial is exactly what you think: the remains were exhumed and moved elsewhere. It was customary for a mirror to be found with the remains of females, but archaeologists rarely found mirrors with men. Here is one of these mirrors:
I find it spooky that these mirrors were only found in the gravesite of secondary burials. Did having the mirror have to do with beliefs about their soul? Did they believe their soul would need a mirror in the after life? Was it just per chance? We may never know! 😮
3100 B.C., Egypt
The Egyptians started making mirrors by smoothing out stone and dampening the surface, but this didn’t work very well because the water would evaporate quickly. 😆
Beliefs About Mirrors
The Egyptians believed that mirrors symbolized the “inner self,” and that it held magical properties, while the Chinese believed they were a way to look back in time and reflect on your wrong-doings.
Today, many superstitious people believe breaking a mirror will bring you 7 years of bad luck. This originates from the belief that it’s your soul reflecting in a mirror and hurting your reflection hurts your soul. An old Roman tale states that the soul regenerates every 7 years, so if you break the mirror, you break your soul for 7 years. I’ll admit, I’m a skeptic. 😕
Fortunately, the Romans gave several ways to reverse the bad luck…
- Bury the broken pieces in the moonlight
- Throw the broken pieces in a river
- Break it into smaller pieces so it can never reflect anything again
- Light 7 white candles and blow them out at midnight in one breath while touching one piece of the mirror to a tombstone (riigghht, 🙄 )
- Make the sign of the cross with a $5 bill (not from the Romans)
Mirrors are good for more than just taking in your beautiful reflection. They’re an accent piece that can help open up a room as well as bring in more light! We just hung a nice big mirror in our dining area (Home Goods, $50!) –
Don’t be afraid to go bold with mirrors!
Long story short, even though mirrors have a semi-weird, semi-spooky history, they’re not leaving my house any time soon! #DontBreakMyMirrors