These days, people are bombarded with advertisements. We are presented with skinny, perfect looking women and men, thing that does not help at all for self-esteem. Top models, famous clothes designers and in general the fashion and beauty industry put forward and promote a model of beauty that is not really applicable for normal people in their day to day life.
This is how many youngsters, but not only, start having a distorted ideal on what beauty is in particular, and what is important in life, in general. Kjerstin Gruys, a PhD student in sociology, at the world-renowned UCLA University, was very unhappy with the fact that the modern world concentrates on external beauty, on the perfection of the body, and less on the beauty of a person’s soul and mind.
‘Mirror Mirror off the Wall’, Kjerstine’s book cover. Photo source: amazon.com
So, she decided to address this particular problem through a 1 year experiment. This consisted of not looking in the mirror for the whole period and was designed to show the importance of inner beauty, not of the outer one. Last, but not least, through this, she intended to boost her self-esteem.
Kjerstin still performed her usual daily routine, but without even peeking at her own image in the mirror. Teeth brushing, make-up and hair, deciding upon the best outfit for the day, and even driving. She managed to do all these without looking in the mirror from her apartment, car or the stores she visited. Her experiment was documented, year-round, in her personal blog, called ‘Mirror, Mirrors off the Wall’.
In adolescence, she had problems with self-esteem and felt very insecure about her own image. More to it, she suffered of anorexia, which took her long years of struggle to recover from this eating disorder. Later on, she became a volunteer for About-Face, an organization from San Francisco which helps women and young girls free themselves of body-image problems and boost their self-esteem and confidence.
What is even more impressive, is that Miss Gruys, now Ackermann, was in the midst of wedding planning when she took the decision to not look in the mirror for 1 complete year. So, she did not even peek at her on reflection on her wedding day. But now she confesses that the experiment was truly liberating, as she found her lost self-esteem and hopes to inspire other women value what is really important in life.
What do you think about Kjerstin’s experiment? Could you do it as well and avoid all mirrors for such a long period of time?
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