Recently I saw a story on Yahoo; this is the introduction:“Most brides obsess over every last detail of the big day and scour racks for the dream dress, but Ph.D. candidate Kjerstin Gruys has taken on a prenuptial challenge of more unique proportions. The teaching fellow at the UCLA Department of Sociology has sworn off looking in a mirror for an entire year—six months of which will lead up to her wedding.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or sigh. Are we so desperate for role models that we elevate someone to hero because they do something a little different? I am not taking a pot shot at women, not at all. If this story was about a man I would feel the same way because this story is rooted in selfishness, vanity, egocentrism. This issues isn’t a female or male issue, this is an issue of complete and utter self importance.
We all know we live in a cultural that worships beauty. I understand that, and I loathe that. It’s obvious we are drawn to beauty; we have eyes that covet beautiful things. What I don’t understand is this. Why is this story important? I have a few questions that I think need some answers too.
First off, does this woman not know we are literally surrounded by glass everywhere we go? Glass is a reflective object; she will see her reflection as some point. It is impossible to avoid your reflection. Does this woman not know that mirrors are a prevalent as candy? Are you going to try to convince me that she won’t even take a glance in the bathroom mirror after she washes her hands?
Curiosity is ingrained in human nature. The mind is the most powerful force in the universe. The longer she will go without looking in a mirror, the more she will want to look. This is a recipe for someone having a nervous breakdown?
How will anyone be able to monitor if she does look in a mirror? Will she hire someone to say “Kjerstin don’t do it, don’t look in the mirror, you promised Yahoo, don’t let the world down!” Why did Yahoo do a story about something so trivial? Did any one read this story and get emotional, like “Oh my gosh, this woman is amazing, I want to be just like her?”
I will tell you what a more selfless and interesting story would be. “Woman gives up all of her possessions and is happy about it.” Is there anything wrong with wanting to stop looking in a mirror? Is there anything wrong with wanting to give up vanity? No, not at all but there is something wrong with taking something that is personal, and based on self improvement and blowing it up to make this person a hero. There isn’t anything heroic in this story, if anything it only reflects how much we idealize beauty, it only reflects how people think anything they do is great and important, it only reflects that we are really reaching for people who don’t place any importance on things the world values. It’s all sad, weird, and lame. So I am announcing I will no longer take showers because I feel smelling good is played out. I’m waiting for my pat on the back and my front page story on Yahoo. I apologize to my co-workers in advance, please go ahead and buy some nose clips.