Low Self Esteem Stopped a Student From Looking in a Mirror for a Year
On Oddity Central this week, we learn how a female student couldn’t look in a mirror for over 12 months due to her low self esteem.
Its hard to go all day without looking in the mirror, for some its hard not to look in the mirror at least once an hour. Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student, went to extremes when it came to boosting her self esteem by not looking in a mirror for over 12 months.
As with many people, her self esteem started when she was a teenager. She suffered from insecurities about her appearance and also suffered from anorexia. Years later planning her wedding, she became excited at the idea of trying on wedding dresses for the big day. Her insecurities returned when she started to be self critical about the way she looked. As with many brides to be she thought about dieting and others ways to lose weight.
After reading a book called “Birth of Venus” she found a paragraph about nuns in Renaissance Italy and their restrictions against vanity. ”They didn’t have mirrors in their lives” This inspired Kjerstin to take down or cover up all the mirrors in her house. This led to Gruys in the first month of the project to walk out of the house with make up smudge over her face.
Gruys says the year helped her to pay more attention to how she feels, rather than her looks, saying ”There is nothing wrong with enjoying, um, looking at yourself in the mirror, … but it’s important for every woman, and man, I think, to really think for a few minutes about whether there is a point of diminishing returns,” going on to say “Because we have so much more to offer the world than just our looks.”
For many people with low self esteem, they are more worried about how others perceive them rather then how they look. They will often say statements including “I look at a mess…” but if they were not leaving the house would they be truly bothered? The mirror project worked wonders for Gruys but for many not looking in the mirror will cause increased anxiety. In this situation working on your anxiety using coaching, CBT or hypnotherapy as an example may have a better affect then just covering up your mirrors.
Learn more about Kjerstin amazing year and how she dealt with her self esteem issues here: Women avoids looking in the mirror to boost self esteem.
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