Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year

Kjerstin Gruys. Avery, $26 (224p) ISBN 978-0-399-16017-2
In this brave and inspiring work, Gruys challenges long-held cultural cues about female beauty. After recovering from an eating disorder, the author set out to show—guided by her volunteer work at About Face, a San Francisco nonprofit organization, and her pursuit of a Ph.D. in sociology at U.C.L.A.—that true beauty is anything but skin deep. She vowed to not look in a mirror—or any reflective surface—for a year, and to document how this decision affected the way she related to her fiancé and to the world at large, writing a blog about the experience to keep herself accountable. Gruys’s project is especially admirable given that her wedding occurred during the year in question (and weddings have been known to make even the most humble woman become image-obsessed). Gruys admits to her all-too-human insecurities and describes her sometimes-difficult effort to live life without defining herself through beauty. Her story encourages others to do the same. This book should be required reading for those women who struggle with body-image issues—and even those who don’t. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 05/02/2013
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-1-58333-548-2
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