According to a new study, what a movie character does when they step in front of a mirror may be related to whether they are male or female. If that person looks forlornly into the reflected image for a few beats before breaking down in tears, the study surmises, that person is probably a woman. If the person becomes so filled with rage at what stares back that the very mirror itself must be destroyed, then that person is probably a man. (And if that person flips open his hands and jauntily exclaims that “It’s showtime, folks!,” then that person is probably Roy Scheider playing a thinly veiled autobiographical representation of choreographer-filmmaker Bob Fosse.)
This may seem like an unnecessarily narrow view of mirror usage, but be assured that it is firmly grounded in science. Joost Broeren and Sander Spies—in association with Dutch indie film magazine De Filmkrant and online magazine Keyframe—put together “Man//Woman//Mirror,” a montage of film scenes in which various emotionally beleaguered male and female characters react to the sight of their own reflections. The filmmakers then marked their findings on a quadrant chart.
The evidence is clear and undeniable. If there are any mirrors out there reading this from the home of a male owner, your safety is at risk. You must seek help immediately.