Have you heard about the girl who’s spending a year without mirrors? Kjerstin Gruys, a PhD student from California, vowed to avoid mirrors for an entire year–even on her wedding day–and chronicle the experience on her blog. Dude, can you imagine?!
Kjerstin explained that going a year without mirrors would essentially make her stop being a slave to vanity and enable her to use her time for other things–and that a year without mirrors doesn’t have to be a year without beauty. Kjerstin still wore makeup (except on makeup free Mondays), still used self-tanner, still did her hair . . . just without mirrors. (To be clear, she still used her rearview mirrors when driving, but “not to check herself out,” and reflective surfaces–including windows–were also off-limits.)
Kjerstin describes herself as a feminist who still like to feel pretty, and felt that sometimes those motivations didn’t match up, especially considering the impossible beauty standards society and the media have put in place. She wrote, “My values and behaviors had been at odds, and this would be the ‘step back’ from vanity that I needed. I would force myself to experience life from the inside-out, instead of the outside-in,” she noted. “But could I do it? How? And with what effects on my life, self-image, and personal and professional relationships? Was it possible that removing mirrors from my life might actually cause me to become more obsessed or insecure about my appearance? Would I completely lose the ability to apply make-up, style my hair, or select flattering and chic outfits? Despite these looming questions, I felt very determined. Somehow, I would wean myself off of mirrors for a year!”
While we totally applaud Kjerstin’s motivations behind going a year without mirrors–having more time to dedicate to things that matter most, not obsessing over her appearance, promoting a healthy body image–we’re not sure if the execution is one we’d necessarily get behind, because we’re not sure if hiding from your appearance is really the key to body confidence, just as ignorance isn’t really bliss.
In fact, we’d actually go so far as to argue that knowing what you look like and embracing it–owning it–is actually a better move. You don’t have to go nuts and check your makeup every two minutes, but being able to see yourself and remind yourself daily that you’re beautiful–regardless of how your jeans fit, whether or not your hair is cooperating–is a beautiful thing in itself. Because you–yes, you, the girl reading this right now–are gorgeous. For real, you are. Everyone has something stunning to offer. You may have really sparkly eyes, long lashes, full lips, adorable freckles, super cute curls, an awesome nose, darling dimples, great legs, a cute butt–and if you go a year without seeing them, it may make you forget just how pretty you are.
So we say kudos to Kjerstin for going a year without mirrors, because we totes wouldn’t be able to do that . . . but we also wouldn’t want to. We’d want to see how lovely we are and make the most of what we’ve got. Being able to look at ourselves in the mirror each day (which, by the way, is possible without obsessing and becoming a slave to vanity) and see what makes each of us beautiful is pretty empowering.
That and we’d be pretty paranoid about having spinach stuck in our teeth.
Would you go a year without mirrors? Do you think going a year without mirrors is a good way to boost positive body image, or do you think knowing and embracing your appearance is a better idea? Tell us in the comments!