One week ago, I decided to reject my reflection for a solid 7 days so as to break my horrid habit of a vanity so great that I do indeed think that song is about me.
I was fed up with constantly feeling the need to look at myself in the numerous and various reflection surfaces placed around my life in an effort to keep me continuously obsessing over the state of my hair. I had come to the conclusion that since looks were of such little importance the acknowledgement of those looks mattered just as little. I was already well aware of the struggles I would undoubtedly face while trying to use my phone without catching a glimpse of my technology-tinted profile.
Even then, I was not ready.
The week of this challenge was one of the longest weeks of my life. I actually believe that someone may have snuck in a good extra bit of hours, and this week was comprised of 9 or 10 equally unsatisfying days.
Throughout the challenge I felt nervous and agitated and upset at not being able to look in the mirror. I constantly felt the need to confirm my existence by looking at myself and being reassured that I hadn’t turned into a ghostly creature no longer capable of sustaining a physical form, I actually chose this limiting lifestyle. I even felt none of the love towards my body or my self that I assumed would come by denying my image, if anything it made me feel a bit worse, like I was so ugly that if I walked into a bank they’d turn off the cameras (ba dum tish). And even though I actively tried to avoid my reflection, I still caught glances of myself throughout the day which only fueled my anger; I would tease myself with a brief glimpse and then immediately turn away before my eyes could drink in that sorry sight of a crazy person (as only loons would attempt a challenge so ridiculous).
Here are my reasons why I will never attempt this challenge never ever never again:
- It was frustrating and a tad painful not to be able to use the mirror to put my contacts in.
- Hiding behind other people in Bodypump made exercising quite the chore. I want results after a workout, not to be denied looking at my awesome and newly fit body!
- My neck hurt from looking down so much to avoid mirrors. Truthfully, I had to hide my eyes so often that it hurt.
- No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t help but catch accidental glimpses of myself which was quite obnoxious.
- Looking at my shadow was often the highlight of my day.
- On the third day I had such a struggle putting in an earring that it took me an extra few minutes and a red ear before being ready for class.
- I didn’t care as much about myself, and consequently ended up eating more and exercising a bit less.
Why I’m somewhat kind of maybe barely glad that I completed this challenge:
- When Skyping I actually spent more time looking at the person I was having a conversation with than looking at myself in the little vanity cam they provide.
- Getting ready in the morning was a breeze and I never really worried about outfits or jewelry choices (though I’m sure other people worried over the sake of my mental health; red shorts with a blue top, really?).
- I look in the mirror less now, or at least think twice before I look.
- Ummm, that’s it.
Honestly, I barely want to talk about this experience because I had such a negative time with it. One important thing I’ve learned is that vanity is perfectly healthy in small doses, and denying such self devotion only serves to turn you into an angry and grumpy person with funky looking hair. While it may not be so good as to pander to all of your vices, I’ve come to feel that vanity, while annoying in excess, is actually quite harmless.