Dare to Try a ‘Mirror Fast’? | Reader's Digest

Dare to Try a ‘Mirror Fast’?

By Lauren Gelman

Dare to Try a ‘Mirror Fast’?
Could you go a month—or even a year—without looking at yourself in the mirror? It’s a new trend among people who say that constantly checking their appearance made them too obsessed with their body image, according to recent reports in The New York Times and on The Today Show.

Mirror abstainers claim that steering clear of the looking glass allowed them to focus their energy and attention on more important things. One woman, a 29-year-old graduate student who avoided  mirrors for a whole year, wrote on her blog via the Times, “all the other interesting things in my life — my goals, passions, friends, family, favorite hobbies, etc. — have attracted the energy and attention I used to give to my looks.”

And lest you worry about shaving nicks and messy eyeliner, you can set your own parameters. One mirror faster, Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, 36, allowed herself to use a small (one inch-by-one inch) hand mirror to apply makeup during her first monthlong fast (she did it by feel during the second).

But some experts say we shouldn’t be so quick to make mirrors the villain, noting that taking great pains to avoid them can be a sign of obsessiveness too, and that it’s more important to find ways to look at yourself through an accepting, instead of critical, lens.

Personally, I think there’s definitely something to be said for cutting down on those stealthy check-ins we tend to make all day long without consciously realizing it. And I want to try to avoid glancing at the bathroom mirror at work to see if my legs look thin in my jeans or if my curls are too frizzy or flat. But shunning mirrors for a whole month seems like a tad too much work.

What do you think—would you try a mirror fast, and for how long?

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