There's a Scientific Reason You Look Different in Photos Than in Mirrors

By Hayden Manders, Refinery29

.Even though your outfit was slammin' and you swore you were having a good hair day, whenever someone takes your picture, it just looks off. Now, you can blame science for your un-photogenic tendencies. Turns out that the way we see our mirrored selves differs from the way we see our photographed selves.

"We grow up getting used to all of our asymmetries as reflected in the mirror," writes Jordan Gaines of NBCNews.com. When the time comes to look at our own portraits, our brain can't comprehend why the differences and nuances we see in the mirror don't match with the "us" in a photo. The same can be said of the way we hear our voices when played back in a recording.

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Pascal Belin, a professor of psychology at the University of Glasgow, breaks down the way we hear. Quite simply, Belin explains, "We never actually hear our voice like other people hear it," because sound enters our ears in two ways: air-conducted and bone-conducted. Air-conducted noise comes from external sources, and it resonates through our eardrums. Bone-conducted sound vibrates through the - you guessed it - bones, and lowers the frequency, making internally created sounds seem deeper.

When we listen to our recorded voices, we hear it resonating in the eardrums via air-conduction. What we know as our "voice" has been altered by the way we hear it. It's not that our sense of self is off, it's just our bodies playing tricks on us. So, no worries when your hair isn't falling perfectly in pictures and your voice sounds like a nasal, high-pitched disaster. You're more fabulous than you know.

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