MIRROR-FASTING: DAY 28 – ALMOST AT THE FINISH LINE..
It’s day 28 in mirror-fasting land and I’ve about 48 hours left before I can look at my own reflection again. I’m not sure what I expect to feel come Wednesday, all I know is this month has been incredibly bizarre thanks to my self-inflicted reflection-less existence.
I’ve gotten my hair cut without looking in the mirror. I’ve socialised, I’ve bought clothes, I’ve managed to curl my hair and not burn myself and stranger still, I’ve gotten used to it all.
It’s a little confusing trying to explain what this month has done for my confidence and self-esteem because in some ways I don’t feel like I’ve gained anything at all. I’m pretty sure that avoiding mirrors only gives a person temporary confidence at best and I’m not dedicated enough to make this some sort of annual routine. But what mirror fasting is good for, is getting the ball rolling in understanding your own body image.
I’ve done so much thinking about appearances lately (for obvious reasons) and a lot of it has occurred as I waited for others to move on from mirrors. See, before I started this project, I thought I’d save time, or at least a little bit, by not checking my appearance at every mirror opportunity but I haven’t. That was a myth. I hadn’t factored in that I’d still end up waiting on friends who had to cater to their mirror needs. By not spending time looking at my reflection, I often found myself looking at others and observing their mirror habits in the process. What else was I to do while waiting at the door of bathrooms? The interesting thing is that not once did I see any of my beautiful, intelligent and incredibly confident friends pass a mirror and find themselves satisfied with what they saw. They quickly brushed hairs out of place, smoothed wrinkles in clothes, touched up make-up… None of them felt comfortable enough to just keep on walking.
Part of me was glad that I wasn’t the only one who kept pointing out her own imperfections but a greater part of me was saddened that my beautiful friends didn’t see themselves as being as wonderfully perfect as I did. I know that I can’t make everyone do a mirror fast and I can’t make everyone rethink their body images. I’m not entirely sure what I can do really. Maybe compliments are the way forward.. not when a person is all dressed up and looking their most fashionable, but maybe when a person is taking a day out from it all. I think over this past month I’ve appreciated a compliment more knowing that it’s just me and not the make-up that’s earned it. But again, I haven’t made that body image defying breakthrough yet.