Go on a Mirror Fast for a Period of Time

Completing: 8. Go on a mirror fast for a period of time

Join me as as I live a short period of my life without mirrors — taking the focus off of myself. I’m starting out small, but hope to go without a mirror for a full week. Read about someone who did a “mirror fast” for a year.

10/21:

I’m not usually one to take selfies, especially not car selfies, so bear with me. This morning, I was sitting in traffic, worrying about getting into work early enough so that none of my coworkers would see me before I put my makeup on in the solitude of my office (major backslide after going to work for a week without makeup in 2013). Anxiety. The sun was beating on my face and I could feel my face getting warmer and warmer with rosacea. More anxiety. I didn’t brush my hair this morning and it’s greasy. All the anxiety. Then I thought, “how in the hell am I supposed to complete my goal of going on a “mirror fast” this year given how anxious I currently am — and I can actually look in a mirror to see that I look somewhat presentable? Full on shame spiral.

I took this picture because 1. I’m publicly shaming myself for being so illogically negative and 2. Exposing my insecurities helps me get over my insecurities.

Whenever I complete this bucket list “mirror fast” I need to feel the internal confidence of a thousand Donald Trumps. Hair not brushed? Doesn’t matter. No makeup? Oh well! Blotchy McBlotcherson? Oh, hi, nice to meet you! I need to be able to put my “best face forward” during this challenge, which will be hard given that I don’t actually know what it’ll look like.

So now I just have to figure out when to complete this fast.

mirror-fast

10/27:

I’ve started the weaning process. I took the mirror in my office down and tried to cover up my bathroom mirror at home. I am still looking at mirrors, but making an effort to do so less frequently throughout the day. I’m also working through ways to fix my hair or look presentable without a mirror. For the last few days, I’ve gone to work with zero face makeup, which is a big deal. Also, I need to figure out how to fix my hair without requiring a mirror. I think a ponytail will be my saving grace. I need to look presentable at work and can’t just look like I got out of bed.

mirror-fast2

10/28:

Today has been huge. I didn’t look into a mirror until two hours after waking up. I really like to examine my skin as soon as I wake up (didn’t realize it was something I did until I wasn’t doing it anymore). I did end up taking a look at my skin a few hours later when I was getting ready for work to make sure that my new moisturizer wasn’t irritating my sensitive skin. I took this mirror time to apply mascara for fun-zies. Took another mirror off of a wall. Then, I got dressed and left the house without looking at myself.

And then I realized there are mirrors you just can’t get rid of. The rear-view mirror will have to stay.

10/29:

Down to a small compact.


10/31:

I went the whole day without looking at a mirror, not even a compact. However, I needed to apply my mustache for my Larry Bird costume and a mirror was necessary. I’m getting used to its absence. I even curled my hair without one on Friday morning.  

11/1:

Today was the first day without looking at a single mirror.

  • It’s hard to floss my teeth where my bottom retainer is located without a mirror
  • I missed plucking my eyebrows on Sunday (my brow-plucking day)
  • I’m relying on Kris to let me know if my outfits look okay. I’m self conscious about my mid section and trying to conceal my food-baby-pooch, so I’ve been feeling uneasy not knowing if it’s properly hidden.
  • Out of sight, out of mind is how this experiment is going.

11/2:

I woke up in a panic. I had a dream I broke down and spent hours looking at myself in a mirror. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t pull myself away. It felt so real.

11/3:

Mirrors should help us make sure that we don’t have anything in our teeth. They shouldn’t ruin our days.

This experiment is fun because I’m changing my relationship with something I didn’t realize I had such a bad relationship with. I’ve gone two full days without looking at any mirrors and on the days I have “broken” and looked at my reflection, it’s been in a small compact and to check to see if I had food in my teeth, so only for a few seconds. I’m still counting those days as fasting days, so I’m almost going on a week.

I’ve decided I”m going to continue to refrain from looking into a mirror until I stop having the urge to look at myself. Every day it seems to lessen.

It’s difficult to get dressed, but not knowing what I look like is making it hard to care if I look good or bad. I’m starting to grasp the concept of feeling confidence from within, which is pretty empowering.

11/4:

More observations:

  • It’s really difficult to NOT look at your reflection at a gym. I take classes and those rooms are full of mirrors. I would catch a glimpse of myself and have to close my eyes.
  • I haven’t been to a gym in a couple of weeks because I’m a lazy ass, but decided to get back to my three workouts a week routine. I took a 45-minute yoga class on Monday. did 45 minutes of cardio on Tuesday, and took a 45-minute Pilates class today. Whenever I’m this sore, I feel like Superwoman — all buff with toned muscles. In reality, I realize this is not true, but because I can’t look at my soft bod to prove my head wrong, and it feels good to pretend for a bit.
  • Which leads into this: I covered up my bathroom mirror with paper and a few reminders. One of which is: “Don’t worry about how you look. How do you feel?” Given how sore my body, plus what I wrote above, I’m feeling like the king of the world.

11/6:

I think I’m ready to break the mirror fast this weekend. I’m ready to hang up the mirrors in the house, remove the papers, and pluck the eyebrow hairs that I know have grown in during the last two weeks. I have nothing left to accomplish with this goal and that’s great. I like life without mirrors, but I don’t like being obsessed about avoiding them. It’ll be nice to resume normalcy. I might make this fast something I do a few times a year to recharge and refocus.

11/10:

Some mirrors have been rehung, I’ve reintroduced myself to myself, and my mirror fast is completed.

I was really worried about this, but it was a great learning experience.

As a result, I’ve changed my morning routine. I’ve decided to continue to refrain from wearing face makeup, a huge step because it is my mask. I’m keeping the eye makeup because that’s just fun.

I have a pimple on my cheek that you might be able to see (or not because you’re not obsessive) in the picture. I would have typically covered it with makeup, but today I’m just like, fewer fucks given. Moreso than going to work without any makeup for a week in 2013, this experience really helped me feel confidence from within and relief from the sometimes crippling anxiety about my appearance.

I’ve enjoyed focusing on all of the things that are more important. Like literally everything else.

– Lyssa

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