Pretty in Mirror, Ugly in Flipped Phone Pictures?

Here’s why your face looks pretty in the mirror but ugly and asymmetrical in flipped phone pictures:

Most people see themselves in a mirror every day, so you perceive this as the original image.So when you see yourself in phone pictures, your face seems to be the wrong way, then you are used to seeing it. 

As a result, your brain is the one telling you that the image is ugly. It’s psychological. If you want to learn all about why your face looks pretty in the mirror but ugly and asymmetrical in flipped phone pictures, then you’re in the right place. Let’s get right to it!

Pretty in Mirror, Ugly in Flipped Phone Pictures? (Do This)

Why Is One Side of Your Face Uglier Than the Other?

Young beautiful woman with natural makeup looks at her reflection in the mirror

If you have ever had this question, then you are not alone. This is because most people see themselves in a mirror every day, and this is the image that you perceive to be the original. 

So when you see yourself in phone pictures, your face seems to be the wrong way, then you are used to seeing it. 

So whatever you do, don’t blame yourself or your face. Instead, your brain is the one telling you that the image is ugly. Selfies do not convey the way we see ourselves or our own attractiveness. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the technical and physiological side of your photos! 

Why Do You Always Look Good in the Mirror?

Young woman checking herself out in the mirror.

The most familiar image that we have of our faces is the reflection that we see in the mirror. 

Every time you step into the bathroom to brush your teeth, comb your hair or get ready for the day, you see yourself. 

Even reflections that you see throughout your house or work give you a perception of yourself that your brain believes to be true. 

You are so used to seeing yourself in the mirror, in fact, that when you view your face reversed in pictures, it looks ugly and asymmetrical. 

If you are the person in your family or group of friends who swears that you are not very photogenic, this might be the problem! 

In a photo, you will see everybody else’s face the way you usually see them. All of them that is, except your own. 

The mirror also gives you things like immediate control over your face and body, making you look better. 

For example, if you don’t like something like the angle, you can react right away and change it. 

By positioning your face or correcting your posture, you can instantly change your appearance to one that is more fulfilling. With photographs, you only get one shot at getting everything right. 

When you look in the mirror, you are also only focusing on certain areas of your face. Things like your lips, nose, eyes, etc., tend to be the focal point of looking in a mirror. 

We never realize just how everything all looks together because of his. 

On the other hand, when you look at a picture, you tend to view everything as a whole. 

You will perceive things like body posture, lighting, facial expressions, and other things you tend not to notice in the mirror. 

And, of course, you will notice the asymmetry.  You may even notice that you are not comfortable in a photo like you would be in a mirror. 

When looking into your mirror, you are usually at home or, at the very least, in a safe place. On the other hand, photographs tend to make us more tense and tight because we are out of our element. 

This may cause you to make your eyes bigger to avoid blinking or create a fake smile for the camera. 

And, due to the rise of social media, we know these photos will likely end up online, creating even more pressure. 

This pressure causes you to do things that are unnatural and can make your photos look weird.

Do You Seem to Look Fatter in Pictures Than You Do in the Mirror?

Young brunette woman casually dressed smiling at the camera taking a selfie

On another note, do you think you look chubbier in pictures than in the mirror?You might look fatter in a picture than in a mirror for two reasons. 

The first is that cameras can distort images and make you look strange in pictures. Furthermore, seeing yourself in a photograph can lead to a different psychological reaction than seeing yourself in a mirror.

Learn all about why it might seem like you look fatter in pictures than in the mirror here.

Why Is No One’s Face Symmetrical? 

Beautiful blonde looking at herself in the bathroom mirror.

When looking at your face, you may notice that some of your features may not perfectly align with the others. For example, one ear may be slightly higher than the other, or your nose may have a sharper side. 

Having things that don’t perfectly mirror one another on both sides is called asymmetry, and it is much more common than you might think. Almost every person has some degree of asymmetry in their face. 

While some cases of this asymmetry are much more noticeable than others, it should be nothing to be worried about! A little bit of asymmetry is perfectly normal. 

In other cases, things like injuries, smoking, lifestyle habits, or simply aging can have an effect on the asymmetry of a face. 

Other Factors That Affect Asymmetry

Good-looking senior mum and adult daughter.

Of course, other factors can and do affect a person’s face to create asymmetry. First, genetics plays a major role. 

Sometimes it is simply a result of development and family genetics. If your parents have asymmetrical ears, there is a good chance that you will have them too! 

This is not the only thing to look at, and other things like the sun can change your face. 

As you get older, exposure to the rays of the sun can create things like patches, spots, and moles that will create differences across your face. 

This is especially true if you spend a lot of time outdoors. I already mentioned smoking, but few people realize just how it exposes your face to toxins. 

Even things like dental work can change the way your face looks!

Other major things, like surgeries or major injuries, can obviously have a great impact on your facial symmetry. 

Luckily, these are more rare cases and not something that everyone has to worry about. Lastly, some of the most common things that contribute to asymmetry are aging and lifestyle habits. 

As a natural part of aging, your face will change as well. 

How you live your life could change things as well. 

Things like only sleeping on one side of your face on the pillow could, over time, begin to change features on your face slightly. 

How Do I Take Better Pictures? (2 Tricks)

Beautiful woman of mixed race posing on the beach.

So how do you take better photographs of yourself if you want to minimize something like the asymmetry of your face? 

Luckily, there are plenty of different tricks and tips that you can utilize. 

Like we already talked about, everyone’s face has some kind of asymmetry, and it helps to know exactly what that is. 

Whether it is one eye larger than the other or one cheek that appears fuller, knowing the details will help you better pose for that perfect photo. 

When positioning yourself for a photo, try to have your face turned to one side or another (even if it is only slightly). 

This will help to minimize the asymmetry that the photo can see. Going back to the eye example, if one eye is larger than the other, then this one should be positioned furthest from the camera. 

An object that is further away from the camera will appear smaller, so using this trick, both eyes will appear the same size. 

Any other facial irregularities can be dealt with using the same technique. 

Another common problem with photos and asymmetry, the crooked nose, can also be remedied by turning the face in a certain direction as well as using the camera at an angle, thereby making the nose appear straighter. 

#1 It’s All About the Lighting

Beautiful athletic woman, taking selfie, photographing herself against gray city wall, sunlight on her face.

Lighting, in fact, is everything! 

Whether looking at yourself in the mirror or taking a selfie, the lighting will have one of the most important roles to play in making yourself appear good or bad. 

Think about it this way: do you ever look at yourself in a mirror without adequate lighting? 

Most likely not. Most bathrooms (where we view ourselves most in the mirror) have big mirrors with good lighting. Now think about some of your worst photos. 

There is probably one common thing with all of them: the lighting is bad. So why does lighting play such an important role when it comes to appearing great in a mirror or terrible in a photo?

It all has to do with our brains. Your brain will not notice subtle lighting differences when looking in a bright mirror because it will automatically even everything out and show us our faces as we are generally used to seeing them. 

A camera, on the other hand, will not do this for us. Instead, the camera will attempt to capture the different shadows, tones, and lighting to take the picture. It does this objectively (unlike our brains), which is why lighting is crucial to taking a great photograph. 

#2 Practice, Practice, Practice

Cheerful young woman taking a selfie indoor.

At the end of the day, the only way to begin taking better photos of yourself is to practice. 

By figuring out what side of your face is your best side, you can start to minimize or hide the features you do not like. 

Something as simple as taking a quick selfie with your phone will allow you to practice different angles and facial expressions. 

You can even use the editing software on your phone to flip the photo back and forth, revealing the imperfections that you can try to hide. 

No matter how you feel that your photos turn out, just remember that everyone has slight imperfections, and this is nothing to worry about! 

You are beautiful the way you are!

Why Do Photos Look Different on Your Phone Than on Your Computer?

focused woman working with laptop while sitting in armchair

Your pictures look different on your phone than on your computer indeed. Computers and phones use different hardware to display and understand images.

Each device has a different screen, so the image will appear differently on every device. 

On top of that, there are countless software differences between the two devices that can lead to many image discrepancies. Learn all about why pictures look different on a phone than on a computer here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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