Woman Goes Without Mirror For Full Year

6 months before her wedding, one young woman decided to forego mirrors for a full year in order to avoid relapsing into an eating disorder that plagued her college years. Kjerstin Gruys, sociology Ph. D candidate at UCLA, has titled her blog “Mirror, Mirror… OFF the Wall” and hopes to break her bad habit of judging her personal appearance in the mirror.

At my first day of college at UCLA, I walked into a room where Kjerstin was going to be my student-teacher. I thought she was a very beautiful young lady, and was shocked to hear that she had suffered through an intense eating disorder for most of her life. For her own personal wellbeing and to teach others a lesson about overreliance on personal appearance, Kjersin refuses to look into a mirror for a full year, including her wedding.

Gruys was inspired to begin her project after a stressful weekend spent searching for the perfect wedding dress. She was afraid of relapsing into her past eating disorder, so she decided to change her habits to reflect her academic research on beauty and inequality and shift her focus away from outward appearances.

How does she get through day-to-day life without a mirror? Gruys has learned how to apply makeup, style her hair, dress herself, and even put in contact lenses without using a mirror. As you can see in video interviews, she looks surprisingly well-maintained despite having no idea what she looks like. You can watch a video interview with her here.

Most women in their twenties spend a great deal of time in front of mirrors.

Some spend hours applying makeup, critiquing their bodies, and trying to look “just right” before stepping out for the day. Gruys wants to prove that women don’t need to obsess over their appearances to enjoy life, and she is “avoiding the mirror so I can get on with my life and do other things. I hope to take the emphasis away from my body and just focus on other things.”

Gruys allows herself a few loopholes in her pledge; she is allowed to view her wedding photos, as well as drop the project at any time if it makes her “go insane”.

Way to go, Kjerstin! You look great.

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