Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall – Self Reflection

What’s not to love about the premise of Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall by Kjerstin Gruys? Not much, me thinks!

In 2011, when she should have been excitedly planning her wedding, she instead found herself focusing on the SUPER high beauty standards we ALL see every day on Instagram and the blogs, vlogs and Facebook videos of beauty influencers.

Spreaking of blogs, Gruys writes one. To make it easy for you, it’s named after this book. Or rather, the book is named after the blog: Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall Blog. Please enjoy it at your leisure. 🙂

Oh, and just a little thing: She was getting married and looking for a wedding dress. And, she’d survived an eating disorder. No biggie. (As if!)

The result is a social commentary on beauty, weight (especially for women) and the quest for self-acceptance.

And yeah, I know a thing or two (or two hundred) about that. Don’t you?

That Gruys is quite beautiful by any standards isn’t the point but needs to be mentioned. I say this because (in the past) I have poo-poo’d anyone who didn’t have a “true” weight problem – and by this I mean, and I quote myself “You are as fat as me” – because they simply didn’t understand. Easy to do and we do it all the time, actually, and not just about weight. But I digress.

This is not a heavy-hitting or preachy book. It is, in fact, a delight.

The whole notion of not looking in mirrors or reflective surfaces – appealed to me. How she did it is not the point but I couldn’t help wondering… how DID she do that? I feel like everywhere I go – from my computer screen to tin foil… doors on the bathroom to my cell phone – reflect back at me. It’s nearly impossible to avoid!

Loving her body was the goal and women have been trying to “get there” for … a long, long time.

For instance, Gruys refers to her mother-in-law’s choice to have plastic surgery and her’s to stop looking at herself this way: “Both of us had embarked on quest to make peace with our bodies, but we took different paths. Her confidence was built from self-knowledge, and her choices were shaped by her unique history, values, and priorities.”

Devil’s advocate here: Which one is more… um… Helpful? Healthy? Emotionally and/or physically. I can’t answer that.

The book is jam-packed with personal experiences, many of which entertain. She is, after all a story-teller. And, as I said, a blogger. Her writing is much the same on both the book and the blog, just as mine would be. We is who we is.

Almost a pun there, given the subject of this book. Ahem.

The book is engaging and she’s no slouch in the IQ department either, holding a Ph.D. in Sociology. She’s also a former fashion industry market researcher and longtime volunteer at About-Face (a San Francisco nonprofit that helps girls and young women resist harmful media messages that threaten their self-esteem and body image). As a plus, 5% of this book’s sales goes back to About-Face.(Info from back inside book jacket.) Anyway, a bit of a Win/win!

So, should you read this book? Maybe. Should you stop looking at yourself? Maybe. Should you love your body the way it is? Definitely. Will you? Probably not. And that’s the sad truth no matter WHAT book you read.

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