Who's the fairest of them all?
IKEA's motivational mirror will say it's you. In fact, it will always tell you good things, no matter what.
A video showing off the fawning mirror was posted to YouTube last week. In it, U.K. shoppers are clearly flattered as the piece of furniture pays compliments such as, "Your eyes are mesmerizing," or "I love what you've done with your hair."
"I could have stood there all day, to be honest," said one shopper.
The prototype mirror was produced using Kinect motion sensor technology as well as "complex coding" to deliver personal messages which are relayed via voice and text, said an Oct. 2 news release.
IKEA was inspired to make the mirror after looking at stats around "image insecurity and self-doubt" in the U.K. It found that 49 per cent of respondents said they don't get any compliments at all in a given week, while 43.6 million of them say they're self-conscious about how they look.
It wasn't clear from the news release whether the mirror will be mass produced and available for sale. But the U.K. certainly isn't the only place where such a product might boost people's self-esteem.
A study out of Sudbury, Ont. has shown negative body image can begin as young as three years old, CBC News reported earlier this year. Kids in the study were asked to look at silhouettes and choose which ones represented their body types. Half of the young participants indicated dissatisfaction with their bodies by picking slimmer or fatter figures.
Dr. Line Tremblay told the network that kids can pick up on their parents' negative comments surrounding body image.
"Parents tend to think these children are too young to understand or have an idea of their body size [when], in fact, they do have a good idea. They can compare themselves with others," she said.
But while negative body image can start young, other research has shown the power of positive thinking.
In 2008, University of North Carolina psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson conducted a study in which she showed participants clips that would trigger positive, neutral and negative emotions. Those who saw happy images were able to write down more detailed and fluid responses, while those who encountered negative imagery wrote the least.
Writing about the study, HuffPost blogger James Clear said that, "In other words, when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you will see more possibilities in your life."
Meanwhile, a review of 16 studies looking at surgery patients' recoveries over three decades showed that those who had a positive attitude about how they would do after their operations did better in every case, Donald Cole of Toronto's Institute for Work and Health told ABC News.
In other words: think happy thoughts, people, whether they're thanks to a mirror, or your own positive thinking.
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