Sick and tired of obsessing about her looks, Kjerstin Gruys made a decision to take action radical: she quit mirrors for the year that is entire including her big day.

Host Michel Martin talks with Gruys about her brand new guide Mirror, Mirror off the beaten track: the way I discovered to Love my human body by maybe maybe Not taking a look at It for per year.


I am Michel Martin and also this is LET ME KNOW MORE from NPR Information. Coming, we will hear from somebody whoever vocals you clearly understand, the best Macy Gray. We will hear just what the singer that is multi-Platinum-selling as much as today, and just why she still believes her very own vocals is odd. Which is later on.

But first, these are suitable into some other person’s notion of excellence, then you’ll probably want to hear what our next guest has to say if you’ve ever gone on a crash diet to fit into a gown or go to a college reunion. Kjerstin Gruys felt she ended up being becoming enthusiastic about her weight into the months before her wedding. She actually purchased four – yes, you heard that right – four various designer wedding dresses prior to the wedding day because she kept interested in one which made her look perfect. But then exactly exactly what she made a decision to do about this might shock you.

She made a decision to avoid her reflection entirely. No mirrors, no reflective areas for a 12 months, even on her behalf wedding. She penned about all of this in her own book that is new,Mirror, Mirror off the beaten track: the way I Learned to Love my own body by perhaps maybe perhaps Not considering It for per year.” And she is with us now from nyc. Welcome, many thanks asian wife therefore much for joining us.


MARTIN: i believe it will 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 also you’d additionally struggled having an eating disorder earlier in your lifetime. Then again you changed your life and job, and you also’re focusing on a Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA. therefore select within the thread here. Exactly exactly How did you will get this notion?

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. And when we began trying to find dresses, i discovered myself being really critical of my human body.

And across the time had been whenever I started thinking i will possibly lose just a little weight ahead of the special day. And an element of the good cause for that is we bought a bridal dress that has been just a little tight. But we began realizing that things were certainly getting as a way that we did not feel at ease with, particularly because of the undeniable fact that we formerly had an eating disorder.

MARTIN: you’d some experience with this specific, having worked through this eating disorder. Exactly exactly exactly How did this minute come your way? Did you believe, i recently surely got to stop taking a look at myself? After all, achieved it arrived at you exactly like that?

GRUYS: the theory stumbled on me exactly like that, after I bought the wedding dress because it was actually the day. I became in St. Louis, where my parents live, and the wedding was found by me gown with my mom, exactly like you’re likely to. Was not really pleased with the problem, wished to get my head off of it, therefore I started a brand new guide.

In the very first web web page, I happened to be prompted to follow this task, because i have look over an account of a purchase of nuns in Renaissance Italy whom spent their whole everyday lives perhaps maybe perhaps not seeing on their own into the mirror, as well as looking down they were dressing or bathing at themselves or at each other when. And that concept was inspiring if you ask me. We thought, for the first-time in my entire life, i would ike to get join a nunnery.

MARTIN: Actually? Okay. Even although you’re involved? Could have form of been tough on the fiancee.

GRUYS: Well, yeah, you understand, I experienced to, like, back up the concept a small bit, and make use of it when I could. Therefore the method we interpreted it absolutely was, you understand, well, just exactly 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 ended up being the response whenever you told relatives and buddies which you had been likely to call it quits mirrors for per year? ‘Cause you needed to buy them up to speed with this particular.

GRUYS: used to do. So that the person that is first told ended up being my mother. 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 take action, she said, but the trend is to hold back until following the wedding. We ended up being like, well, i believe you have got some interest that is vested the marriage, therefore I’m planning to communicate with several other individuals.

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

MARTIN: Well, that which was the thing that is hardest to stop?

GRUYS: it absolutely was 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 end in front side of the mirror taking a look at myself. And I also look back, and I also think element of it had been pep talk, section of it was the contrary.

And so I ended up being sorts of a “frenemy” (ph) to my expression, where I happened to be being critical. But there clearly was a little bit of it which was just a lot like, hey, you are right right here, i am right here, hello, now return to work. And so I had this companionship with my representation, so when i did not have mirror to appear into, we missed it.

MARTIN: What about now, now you’ve undergone this, sort of – I do not understand what you need to phone it – a look cleanse, right?

GRUYS: A vanity clean.

MARTIN: . Vanity clean.

MARTIN: What can most people study on this?

GRUYS: Well, the one thing that i have removed that I had this unconscious belief that the extra time I was spending on, for example, my makeup really wasn’t shaping the trajectory of my life the way I thought it was from it is. Putting on eyeliner or perhaps not putting on eyeliner is maybe perhaps maybe not the essential difference between a advertising and never getting hired.

And that is a thing that many of us, we understand logically, but we now have these unconscious presumptions that the excess five or ten minutes us more prepared to greet the day that we might spend in a morning makes. And I also argue that that is seldom the outcome. For good or bad, we are stuck as to what we had been created with.

And so I argue that, discover that point of diminishing comes back, stick close to it, then fill your lifetime with other things that produce you delighted and feel just like you are satisfying your function.

MARTIN: Okay, inform the reality, do you really, like, secretly have entire cabinet complete of beauty items now or something like that?

GRUYS: Oh, are you currently joking? We have a wardrobe packed with them. I actually do.

MARTIN: Have the makeup musician on rate dial?

GRUYS: No makeup musician on rate dial. I’m still kind of the girly woman at heart. We utilized to get results in fashion. My wardrobe, like, let us simply say we each have actually our closets that are separate and their is a lot smaller than mine. I must say I do enjoy my beauty techniques, but We distinguish between an occasion that is special each and every day.

My beauty that is everyday practice, like, next to nothing. I could take action in five full minutes, and that includes hair that is wet the bath and me personally out of the door. For a special event, hey, perhaps 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 this woman? She actually is really, really today that is fancy. But that’s a special day, and I also make an effort to differentiate between your two.