How Men and Women React to Their Own Reflections in Movies

Mirrors are a well worn device in movies. They provide an extremely literal moment of self-reflection that often during a film’s emotional peak. So why do we see characters repeatedly reacting in the exact same way?

Fandor explored 46 films from the last 60 years and discovered a bizarre trend: women cry and men freak the fuck out. There were a few outliers of course. In an otherwise deeply violent movie, American Psycho’s mirror scene is foreboding but emotionally neutral. Heathers conversely shows a woman spitting on her own reflection out of self-disgust. But the vast majority of these films conform to this unusual gender-based dichotomy, which might be more a result of Hollywood’s gender disparity than human nature.


Wrong or right, good luck not seeing this trope stick out like a sore thumb the next time you sit down to watch some Netflix.

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Bryan Menegus

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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