Sick and tired of obsessing about her appearance, Kjerstin Gruys chose to make a move radical: she threw in the towel mirrors for the whole 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 discovered to Love my own body by perhaps perhaps perhaps Not taking a look at It for per year.


I am Michel Martin and this is LET ME KNOW MORE from NPR Information. Coming, we are going to hear from someone whoever vocals you clearly understand, the best Macy Gray. We will hear just just just what the Multi-Platinum-selling singer is up to today, and just why she nevertheless believes her very own vocals is odd. That is later.

But first, these are suitable into someone else’s concept 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 had been becoming enthusiastic about her weight when you look at the full months before her wedding. She really purchased four – yes, you heard that right – four various designer wedding dresses ahead of the wedding day her look perfect because she kept looking for one that made. Then again exactly exactly what she made a decision to do about this might shock you.

She made a decision to avoid her representation entirely. No mirrors, no surfaces that are reflective a year, also on her behalf big day. She had written about all of this in her book that is new,Mirror, Mirror off the beaten track: the way I discovered to Love my own body by maybe Not considering It for per year.” And she actually is with us now from ny. greeting, many thanks so much for joining us.


MARTIN: i believe it will help to understand a little about your history. You would worked in the style industry, you had experienced first-hand the emphasis that is intense appearance, and you also’d also struggled with an eating disorder early in the day in your lifetime. Then again you changed your life and profession, and also you’re taking care of a Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA. Therefore pick the thread up here. Just just just How did this idea is got by you?

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. When we started shopping for dresses, i discovered myself being actually critical of my own body.

And round the time had been once I began thinking i ought to possibly lose just a little weight ahead of the special day. And the main basis for that is we purchased a bridal dress which was just a little tight. But we began realizing that things were consistently getting as a direction that we previously had an eating disorder that I didn’t feel comfortable with, especially given the fact.

MARTIN: you’d some experience with this particular, having worked through this eating disorder. Just just exactly How did this minute come your way? Do you believe, i recently surely got to stop evaluating myself? I am talking about, achieved it come your way the same as that?

GRUYS: the concept stumbled on me personally exactly like that, as it ended up being actually a single day when I purchased the marriage gown. I happened to be in St. Louis, where my moms and dads live, and the wedding was found by me dress with my mother, like everyone else’re designed to. Was not extremely satisfied with the specific situation, wished to get my head away from it, and so I started a book that is new.

In the first web web page, I became prompted to pursue this task, because i have look over an account of a purchase of nuns in Renaissance Italy whom spent their whole life maybe perhaps not seeing by themselves within the mirror, as well as looking down at on their own or at each and every other once they had been dressing or bathing. And therefore concept was inspiring in my experience. We thought, when it comes to time that is first my entire life, i would ike to get join a nunnery.

MARTIN: Actually? Okay. Even if you’re involved? Could have style of been tough on your own fiancee.

GRUYS: Well, yeah, you realize, I’d to, like, right back within the concept a small bit, and employ it as I could. So that the means we interpreted it beautiful asian women absolutely was, you understand, well, exactly just what if i recently discovered a method to stop seeing myself in mirrors as well as other reflective areas for a great amount of the time, to essentially concentrate my attention far from my look and toward those things during my life which can be more in accordance with my values, therefore might work, my relationships.

MARTIN: What ended up being the response once you told relatives and buddies you had been planning to stop trying mirrors for per year? ‘Cause you needed to buy them up to speed with this particular.

GRUYS: used to do. So that the very first individual we told had been my mother. She was supportive, but she did, by the end of telling me personally it had been a good idea and that we should completely get it done, she stated, but why not hold back until following the wedding. We had been like, well, i believe you have some interest that is vested the marriage, I really’m planning to communicate with several other individuals.

My sibling was in help. She actually is a lot like the super pure beauty, no makeup products, so she ended up being completely in benefit. And my better half, or fiancee, during the time, he had been additionally in benefit. Although once I began using all of the mirrors from the walls within my house, he had been a small bit like, oh, wait, this can be planning to influence me personally, too.

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

GRUYS: it absolutely was the feeling of companionship that I experienced developed with my representation. Through the entire 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 result in front side of a mirror taking a look at myself. And I also look right back, and I also think element of it had been pep talk, section of it had been the exact opposite.

Therefore I ended up being sorts of a “frenemy” (ph) to my expression, where I became being critical. But there clearly was an item of it that has been just similar to, hey, you are right right here, i am right here, hello, now return to work. And so I had this companionship with my representation, as soon as i did not have mirror to appear into, we missed it.

MARTIN: What about now, given that you’ve undergone this, form of – I do not understand what you would like to phone it – an look cleanse, right?

GRUYS: A vanity clean.

MARTIN: . Vanity clean.

MARTIN: What can ordinary people study from this?

GRUYS: Well, a very important factor that i have removed as a result is the fact that I experienced this unconscious belief that the additional time I became shelling out for, for instance, my makeup products actually wasn’t shaping the trajectory of my entire life just how we thought it absolutely was. Putting on eyeliner or perhaps not putting on eyeliner is maybe perhaps maybe not the essential difference between an advertising and never setting it up.

And that is something which many of us, we all know logically, but we’ve these unconscious assumptions that the excess five or ten full minutes we might invest in a early morning causes us to be more willing to welcome the afternoon. And I also argue that that is seldom the scenario. For good or bad, we are stuck as to what we had been created with.

Therefore 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 are fulfilling your purpose.

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

GRUYS: Oh, are you currently joking? A closet is had by me saturated in them. I really do.

MARTIN: Have the makeup musician on rate dial?

GRUYS: No makeup musician on rate dial. I’m still kind of a girl that is girly heart. We utilized to function in style. My wardrobe, like, let us simply say my spouce and I each have actually our separate closets, and their is a lot smaller than mine. I truly do enjoy my beauty methods, but We distinguish from an occasion that is special every single day.

My everyday beauty training is, like, next to nothing. I’m able to get it done in five full minutes, and that includes hair that is wet the bath and me personally out of the door. For a special day, hey, perhaps we’ll invest like an hour or so . 5 getting prepared, and my hubby’s eyes will pop away from their mind ’cause he is like, whom is it woman? She is extremely, extremely fancy today. But that is an occasion that is special and I also attempt to distinguish involving the two.