Anyone who flips on a television, follows a celebrity news website or even just browses magazine covers while standing in line at the grocery store knows that when it comes to beauty, we celebrate an unrealistic vision of perfection. While we may subliminally realize that it is standard practice to Photoshop magazine covers and cosmetic ads, it’s hard to not fall into self scrutiny when gazing at an ad for mascara featuring a pore-less, unblemished complexion.
For many, the pressures of being beautiful and attaining perfection may occasionally lead to an obsession with appearance, even though objectively we know that our worth lies much deeper than the skin we’re trying so desperately to smooth, plump, brighten or unwrinkle. It is common practice to gaze at our faces while getting ready for the day or performing our nightly beauty routines, so I was naturally interested when I stumbled upon a movement of beauty bloggers to “fast” from their mirrors for days, weeks, months, or even years at a time.
Essentially, these women decided to avoid looking at their reflections in any possible way to see how (and if) it affected the way they thought about themselves, their appearances, and their relationships with others.
While I admire the women undertaking this experiment and find the general idea to definitely be an endeavor worthy of discussion, I’m not so sure that I could (or would want to) do it myself. Although I do think that my (and probably many others’) beauty routine and general time/money/effort spent on appearance could and probably should be reduced, I also find a sense of joy and satisfaction in pampering myself and stepping into the day feeling styled and put together.
In other words, I like my beauty products and my getting ready process, and while they’re not (and shouldn’t be) everything I am, our appearances and the way we sculpt our looks is a part of our identities, whether we like it or not. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes fall into the shallow realms of vanity, and it’s not to say that scaling back and totally focusing on inward value wouldn’t be constructive. But to create an all-encompassing acceptance and love for self, we need to embrace every bit of who we are, inside and out.
What do you think? Could you live without a mirror for a month (or a year)?
Check out the blogs of some of the women who have: