Sick and tired with obsessing about her appearance, Kjerstin Gruys made a decision to make a move radical: she threw in the towel mirrors for an entire 12 months, including her big day.

Sick and tired with obsessing about her appearance, Kjerstin Gruys made a decision to make a move radical: she threw in the towel mirrors for an entire 12 months, including her big day.

Host Michel Martin speaks with Gruys about her brand new guide Mirror, Mirror off the beaten track: the way I Learned to Love my human body by maybe maybe perhaps Not considering It for per year.


I am Michel Martin and this is LET ME KNOW MORE from NPR Information. Coming, we will hear from someone whoever vocals you undoubtedly understand, the best Macy Gray. We will hear exactly exactly what the singer that is multi-Platinum-selling up to today, and exactly why she nevertheless believes her very own vocals is odd. Which is later on.

But first, these are suitable into some other person's concept of excellence, if you have ever gone on a radical diet to match in to a gown or head to a university reunion, then chances are you'll probably wish to hear exactly what our next visitor needs to state. Kjerstin Gruys felt she ended up being becoming enthusiastic about her fat when you look at the months before her wedding. She really purchased four – yes, you heard that right – four various wedding gowns prior to the special day because she kept interested in one which made her look perfect. Then again just just what she made a decision to do about this might shock you.

She made a decision to avoid her expression entirely. No mirrors, no surfaces that are reflective a 12 months, also on her behalf wedding. She published about all of this in her own brand new guide, "Mirror, Mirror off the beaten track: the way I discovered to Love my own body by maybe maybe Not taking a look at It for per year." And she is with us now from New York. greeting, thanks therefore much for joining us.


MARTIN: i do believe it can help to understand a bit that is little your history. You had worked in the style industry, you would experienced first-hand the emphasis that is intense appearance, and you also'd also struggled with an eating disorder earlier in the day that you know. Then again you changed your life and job, and you also're focusing on a Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA. Therefore select the thread up here. exactly How did you obtain this concept?

GRUYS: I was engaged to be married, I had a lot of really high expectations for what it would be like to plan a wedding, to find a wedding dress, etc as you mentioned, when. So when we began looking dresses, i discovered myself being actually critical of my own body.

And across the time had been once I began thinking i ought to perhaps lose only a little weight ahead of the day that is big. And an element of the good reason behind that is we bought a bridal dress that has been a small tight. But I began realizing that things were consistently getting in to a way that we previously had an eating disorder that I didn't feel comfortable with, especially given the fact.

MARTIN: some experience was had by you with this specific, having worked through this eating disorder. exactly How did this brief minute come your way? Do you would imagine, i recently surely got to stop evaluating myself? After all, achieved it arrived at you similar to that?

GRUYS: the theory stumbled on me personally exactly like that, after I bought the wedding dress because it was actually the day. I happened to be in St. Louis, where my moms and dads reside, and i discovered the marriage gown with my mother, like everyone else're designed to. Was not extremely pleased with the specific situation, wished to get my brain away from it, therefore I started a book that is new.

In the very first web page, I became prompted to follow this task, because i have look over an account of a purchase of nuns in Renaissance Italy whom invested their whole life maybe maybe not seeing on their own when you look at the mirror, and even looking down at themselves or at each and every other if they had been dressing or bathing. And therefore concept really was inspiring in my opinion. We thought, when it comes to very first time in my entire life, let me get join a nunnery.

MARTIN: Actually? Okay. While you're engaged? Could have form of been tough on the fiancee.

GRUYS: Well, yeah, you realize, I'd to, asian mail bride like, right back within the concept a little, and employ it when I could. And so the method we interpreted it absolutely was, you realize, well, exactly just just what in mirrors and other reflective surfaces for a good chunk of time, to really focus my attention away from my appearance and toward the things in my life that are more in line with my values, so my work, my relationships if I just found a way to stop seeing myself.

MARTIN: What was the response whenever you told relatives and buddies you were going to call it quits mirrors for per year? 'Cause you needed to have them up to speed with this specific.

GRUYS: i did so. Therefore the person that is first told had been my mom. She really was supportive, but she did, at the conclusion of telling me personally it absolutely was a good idea and that we should completely do so, she stated, but why not hold back until following the wedding. We ended up being like, well, i believe you have got some vested curiosity about the marriage, I really'm likely to speak to various other individuals.

My cousin really was in help. She actually is a lot like the super beauty that is natural no makeup products, so she ended up being completely in benefit. And my better half, or fiancee, during the right time, he had been additionally in benefit. Although once I began using most of the mirrors from the walls in my house, he had been a bit like, oh, wait, this might be likely to impact me personally, too.

MARTIN: Well, that which was the most difficult thing to quit?

GRUYS: it had been the feeling of companionship that I experienced developed with my representation. Through the I would frequently kind of get up and walk around to, you know, shake off the writer's block day. And I also would often land in front side of the mirror taking a look at myself. And I also look straight straight right back, and I also think section of it had been pep talk, section of it absolutely was the alternative.

I was being critical so I was kind of a "frenemy" (ph) to my reflection, where. But there is an item of it which was just similar to, hey, you are right right here, i am right here, hello, now return to work. Therefore I had this companionship with my expression, as soon as i did not have mirror to appear into, I missed it.

MARTIN: What about now, given that you've undergone this, types of – I'm not sure what you would like to phone it – an look cleanse, right?

GRUYS: A vanity clean.

MARTIN: . Vanity clean.

MARTIN: What can most people study from this?

GRUYS: Well, a very important factor that I've recinded as a result is the fact that I experienced this unconscious belief that the additional time I happened to be shelling out for, for instance, my makeup products actually wasn't shaping the trajectory of my life the way in which we thought it had been. Using eyeliner or perhaps not eyeliner that is wearing maybe perhaps not the essential difference between a advertising rather than getting hired.

And that is something which a lot of us, we realize logically, but we've these unconscious presumptions that the excess five or ten full minutes that people might invest in a early morning makes us more willing to welcome the afternoon. And I also argue that that is seldom the outcome. For good or bad, we're stuck using what we had been created with.

And so I argue that, realize that point of diminishing comes back, stick close to it, then fill other things to your life which make you delighted and feel you're satisfying your function.

MARTIN: Okay, inform the reality, do you, like, secretly have drawer that is whole of beauty items now or something like that?

GRUYS: Oh, will you be joking? We have a wardrobe high in them. I really do.

MARTIN: Have the makeup musician on speed dial?

GRUYS: No makeup artist on rate dial. I'm still kind of the girly woman at heart. We used be effective in fashion. My wardrobe, like, let us simply say my spouce and I each have actually our separate closets, and their is significantly smaller than mine. I must say I do enjoy my beauty methods, but We distinguish from a special event and every single day.

My beauty that is everyday practice, like, next to nothing. I'm able to get it done in 5 minutes, and therefore includes hair that is wet the bath and me personally out of the door. For a special event, hey, possibly we'll invest like one hour . 5 getting prepared, and my better half's eyes will pop away from their mind ’cause he is like, whom is it woman? She actually is extremely, really fancy today. But that is a special event, and I also make an effort to differentiate amongst the two.