We need to understand that loving our inner selves is more important than loving our outer appearance. The poem “Never Trust a Mirror” by Erin Hanson beautifully and poetically expresses this idea.
Let’s take a look at the poem and then at the meaning, metaphors, and themes of the poem.
Never Trust a Mirror by Erin Hansen
Never trust a mirror, For the mirror always lies, It makes you think that all your worth, Can be seen from the outside. Never trust a mirror, It only shows you skin deep, You can’t see how your eyelids flutter, When you’re drifting off to sleep, It doesn’t show you what he sees, When you’re only being you, Or how your eyes just light up, When you’re loving what you do, It doesn’t capture when you’re smiling, Where no one else can see, And your reflection cannot tell you, Everything you mean to me, Never trust a mirror, For it only shows your skin, And if you think that it dictates your worth, It’s time you looked within.
Meaning and Summary of the Poem
The poem tells us that one should never trust a mirror and believe what it shows. Many people look at a mirror, find all the small things in their faces and bodies, and start feeling negative about themselves.
The mirror only shows you from the outside. It shows you just a small part of yourself, for just an instant. It does not show the other aspects of a person that make them beautiful.
The poem beautifully gives examples of what these ‘moments’ are where a person’s true beauty shines, and the ‘skin deep’ beauty fades away.
The poet says that the mirror cannot see you gently going off to sleep, or the person you are when you are being you. It cannot see (or show you) how beautiful you look when you are doing things that you love.
The mirror also cannot see when you are smiling with all your heart when no one is around. It cannot show you how your eyes light up.
The essence of the poem is that while we stand in front of a mirror for merely a few seconds, we cannot judge our beauty based on that. The mirror might show your reflection, but it barely knows you.
Important Parts of the Poem
Some very crucial parts of the poem need further analysis to truly appreciate the beauty of this poem and the message it comes with.
And your reflection cannot tell you,
Everything you mean to me,
Never trust a mirror,
For it only shows your skin,
And if you think that it dictates your worth,
It’s time you looked within.
The last six lines of the poem tell us more about the poem. The poet is addressing someone, but it can also be the readers.
She says that a mirror just shows a reflection of you, but it cannot show you what the person means to the poet. For the readers, each one of us has that special person who sees the best in us.
The mirror just shows a crude reflection of us, but it is the person who loves us the most who can see what we are worth and our inner beauty. The inner beauty is completely covered by the outer appearance.
Finally, the poem ends with a message, and quite a profound one. The poet says that if you think that the mirror’s depiction of your beauty is your beauty, then you need to look within.
She says that you need to look at your heart, and your soul and find how beautiful you are, because that is what true beauty is. What you see on the outside is just your appearance.