Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror provocatively explores the relationship between a woman’s body image and the quest for an idealized female form. Blending humor and candor, the film incisively illuminates the vagaries in the concept of an “ideal” body type. A tension exists between the visual statement created by masks and mannequins and the rich diversity of the voices appearing in the film. Thirteen women, of varying age, size, and ethnicity, reveal the ambivalence with which they regard their own bodies. Their musings about specific body parts are underscored by archival footage of beauty competitions.

17 minutes | 1990



First Prize Documentary, New York Expo of Short Film & Video
Best Documentary, Humboldt International Film & Video Festival
Director’s Choice, Edison Black Maria Film & Video Festival
Jury Award, Documentary, Big Muddy Film Festival
Judge’s Choice, Louisville Film and Video Festival
Honorable Mention, Baltimore International Film Festival
Best Women’s Issues Film, University of Cincinnati Film Society Festival

Selected Screenings

Ann Arbor Film Festival
London International Film Festival
Seoul International Film Festival
Women in Resistance Film Festival, France
AFI/Los Angeles Film Festival
“What’s Happening” series, NY MOMA
Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York
USA Film Festival
American Film Festival
Denver International Film Festival
Athens International Film and Video Festival
Third Wave International Women’s Film & Video Festival, Austin
Cinequest Film Festival, San Jose
Charlotte Film and Video Festival
Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival
Paris Lesbian Film Festival
Visual Artists’ Film and Video Festival
San Francisco Women’s Film Festival
Flaherty Film Seminar
American Women’s Psychology Annual Conference



P.O.V., PBS national broadcast
Learning Channel Europe
REN TV, Russia
BBC, United Kingdom
Radio Telefis Eireann, Ireland
Through the Lens, Philadelphia PBS
Territory, Texas PBS
video I, San Jose PBS
Bay TV, San Francisco


Press Quotes

“… presents a little-discussed but often-pondered subject exceedingly well…” – Video Rating Guide

“… the movie makes its striking point when the masks come off and we see how startingly more important a person’s smile is than the shape of her arms or bosom…” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“… the way it’s done makes a powerful statement…” – Bay Guardian


American Film and Video Association Evaluations
Video Rating Guide (Marilyn McCroskey)

Director’s Statement

Director’s Statement

Over the years, I have eavesdropped on conversations in department store dressing rooms and women’s locker rooms as girls and women of all ages criticize the size, shape, and proportion of their bodies, Confronting the tyranny of a societal ideal, my concept for Mirror Mirror was to create a Greek chorus from thirteen individual interviews organized around a collective lament. After pre-interviewing more than 60 candidates in the “casting” stage, I realized that each woman’s “ideal body” did not adhere to a generalized standard. The mannequins used in the interview set represent the unattainable ideal. The candid reflections of the participants are amplified by newsreel footage from the 1940s and 1950s depicting perfect body part contests. This archival footage is a representation of the judgement about body size and “beauty” that women have internalized for decades. 



Producer, Director, Editor – Jan Krawitz
Cinematographer – Thomas Ott
Composers – Shawn Thornton and Tom Sherry

Paul Robeson Fund and Women’s Project of the Funding Exchange
Southwest Alternate Media Project
The Women in Film Foundation
The Pioneer Fund



For DVD purchase, use the Paypal link or send a check/money order for $23.99 (includes $4.00 postage/handling) payable to Jan Krawitz.

For international orders outside the U.S., please email krawitz@stanford.edu for shipping costs.

All films, videos, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs are protected by United States copyright law. Duplication, reproduction, alteration, subleasing, television (broadcast, cable or close circuit) or commercial use (i.e., charging admission) is strictly prohibited without written consent from Jan Krawitz.


Jan Krawitz is available for speaking engagements with her films at conferences and universities. She also conducts master classes and presents public talks about documentary film as a Visiting Filmmaker.

Jan Krawitz
Department of Art & Art History, 355 Roth Way
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2018