A few years ago, one morning, I turned on the television before putting on my glasses. The TV was tuned to Turner Classic Movies and my myopic eyes told me I was watching some kind of airplane battle scene.
“These actors look really funny,” I thought before finding my glasses and bringing the world into focus.
There was a reason the actors looked funny. It turned out that they weren’t people, but dolls. The movie was “Thunderbirds Are Go”, a 1966 British movie that used dolls, or maybe puppets, instead of people, which was a huge relief because I would hate to think of human beings looking like those puppets.
Something similar happened the other day when I turned on the TV and saw an ad for people working in front of a full length mirror where it looked like there was a miniature person in it. inside the mirror that shouted at them.
“You can do it!” “Feel it!” “You have this!” the little mirror person barked while exercising, too.
We’ve all seen a movie or had a nightmare looking at ourselves in the mirror and seeing someone other than yourself looking back. They’re usually horror movies, which is understandable because the idea of having another person living in your mirror isn’t exactly the stuff of fairy tales (other than the Wicked Witch’s mirror in “White -Snow “). But I had never seen a mirror with a real person inside while I was awake.
Intrigued and a little horrified, I researched the product. It’s a real thing, and its website says The Magic Mirror customizes the workouts for you. If you love weightlifting, you’ll be paired with a trainer who will pump up those biceps. If dancing is your thing, you’re in luck. Yoga? Uh-huh. Boxing? That too.
I guess the little person in the mirror has the lean on you, the exerciser, and will help you achieve your fitness goals almost like she’s in the room with you. Which I guess he or she is sort of.
I can see the call. No more going to the gym in bad weather. No more embarrassment when you can’t keep up with the rest of the class. No more worrying about having appropriate attire or being the oldest/least fit/slowest in class.
All this is not cheap. The product itself costs around $1,500, plus an installation fee. On top of that, there is a monthly fee for all of these exercise classes.
I guess the talking mirror gained popularity during the pandemic when gyms weren’t an option, but eating everything in the kitchen was. Add Uber Eats and order any high-calorie meal you want – with fries – day or night, and it’s obvious that a major problem is looming. As the old saying goes, if you want to dance, sooner or later you’ll have to pay the band. And the Uber driver.
I like the idea of having individualized workouts in the comfort of your own living room, but I have to say the miniaturized instructor scares me a little. I’d be afraid he or she would tell me to do some knee bends and veer into a darker realm and start ordering me to rob banks or talk to my boss.
Suppose the coach is tired of working out and asks to be taken out of the mirror so he can live a normal life? In my house?
Or worse, they might start making rude comments about my shape, my one pound weights and my crummy workout clothes before suggesting that I give up because I’m clearly never going to go back. They are probably also able to tell when the user is slacking off instead of sweating. I’m sure there are most likely monthly weigh-ins involved, all of which add up: “I think I’ll save my $1,500 and stick to silent mirrors, thanks.”
Because when it comes to mirrors, silence is truly golden. Other than the Wicked Witch’s Mirror, of course.
Nell Musolf is a freelance writer who lives in Mankato with her husband and two dogs. She can be reached at [email protected].