Six months before her wedding, Kjerstin Gruys decided to do something that surprised her friends and family: she vowed to quit looking at herself in the mirror. For a year, she avoided her own reflection… and even on her wedding day, getting ready, she wouldn’t look at herself. By avoiding her reflection, she challenged her ideas and society's ideas about beauty.
She blogged about the experience, which garnered national attention, and then wrote a book.
Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year is a both a memoir and an examination of beauty privilege and body image. The book combines academic research with personal experiences. Gruys is an author, blogger, and a Ph.D. candidate who teaches at UCLA.
She spoke with WUTC’s Michael Edward Miller in advance of giving a lecture at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Monday, March 3. She'll give a free public presentation at 7:30 p.m. at the UC Auditorium. The event is open to the public. Gruys is the keynote speaker for 2014 Women’s History Month at UTC.