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Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall

How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year

Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall
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A scholar, fashionista, and bride-to-be spends a year without mirrors to get a better view of herself, her life, and what’s really important.

When Kjerstin Gruys became engaged to the love of her life, she was thrilled—until it came time to shop for a wedding dress. Having overcome an eating disorder years before, Gruys found herself struggling to maintain a positive self-image as her pending nuptials imposed a new set of impossible beauty standards. She decided to embark on a bold plan for boosting her self-esteem while refocusing her attention on the beautiful world around her. A memoir of discovery, Mirror Mirror Off the Wall charts Gruys’ awakening as she vows to give up mirrors and other reflective surfaces, relying instead on her friends and her fiancé to help her gauge both her appearance and her outlook on life. The result? A renewed focus on what truly matters, regardless of smeared makeup, crooked eyebrows, or messy hair.

In the honest, witty, self-aware voice that has made her blog so popular, Gruys explores what it means to be a feminist in a society where femininity is subject to destructive ideals of beauty and sex appeal. Having worked in the fashion industry before becoming a sociologist, Gruys draws on her frontline expertise to explore the gender inequities created by society’s obsession with a flawless female body image. Putting a human face on an important issue with humorous and poignant scenes from Gruys’ life, Mirror Mirror off the Wall sparks important conversations about body image and reclaiming the power to redefine beauty.


Penguin Group US; May 2013
224 pages; ISBN 9781101609057
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