As women we deal with body issues on a regular basis.  From the images in media to the ideas we have of how we feel we should look, it can be tough to accept one’s self as is.  We pick apart our bodies, our hair, our clothes, never feeling that we are truly good or beautiful enough.  Well Ph.D candidate Kjerstin Gruys has chosen a unique way to find self love. The teaching fellow at the UCLA Department of Sociology has sworn off looking in a mirror for an entire year — six months of which will lead up to her wedding.

As if it weren’t enough to not look in a mirror everyday to make sure you look good for lunch or a brunch date, imagine planning a wedding and having to simply trust that your body is perfect enough to pull of the most important outfit of your life.  That’s no small feat!  Gruys’ self-described “struggle with poor body image” made her wonder if a year without mirrors could lead to greater self-acceptance and appreciation for her body.

“I picked out my wedding gown before the project started. Looking in the mirror for hours and feeling critical of myself was one of the main motivators.  I want my wedding to be about my partner, Michael, and me, and about our loved ones—not about whether or not I dropped 10 pounds to squeeze into my dress.”

Gruys is chronicling the daily encounters and challenges of living a mirror-free life on her blog, Mirror, Mirror Off The Wall and even though she has met with some criticism for wearing light makeup or tanning, overall she seems to be doing pretty well.

While I’ve never counted how many times a day I’ve looked in a mirror to fix my hair, check for shine or pick my teeth (don’t judge me!), I do know that I am one of millions of women who look in the mirror from time to time and see things I could “fix” and often wonder what it would be like to not have that issue.  I commend Gruys and wish her well on her path to self love and acceptance, and hopefully her story can encourage someone else to start their own journey and love themselves just a little bit more.

Could you go mirror-free for a year?

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