Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Could you stop looking in the mirror?

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I was thumbing through a copy of British Grazia the other day, looking at what London’s fashionistas say I should be wearing this week (I’ve only just made peace with skinny jeans, the thought of printed pyjama pants as daywear still makes me laugh out loud) when an article by editor-at-large Polly Vernon caught my eye.

I shall not look; I shall not see


It was about how she – a “self-confessed mirror junkie” – tried to get through a week without looking in the mirror. She got the idea from Kjerstin Gruys, an American woman who decided not to look in the mirror for an entire year before her wedding because she didn’t want her wedding “to be about her obsessing with her looks.” (Doesn’t she sound nice? Doesn’t she sound like she’d never live in Dubai?).

I enjoyed reading about how difficult Vernon found it to avoid looking at herself in every car and shop window and in the mirrored sunglasses of every passer-by. But then I thought, “she’s a beauty editor and she’s very pretty. If I looked like that, I, too, would like to look in the mirror.”

But, since a disastrous haircut circa September 2009, when I learned never to look at my hair in a mirror – and especially not at the back of it – because it would just make me cry, I’ve discovered a liberating fact: If you don’t look in the mirror, you’re free to convince yourself that you look beautiful / radiant / young or, in my case, presentable, most of the time, even if you don’t.

And, if you’re not constantly looking in the mirror and thinking “My eyes are too small. My eyes are sunken. My lips aren’t pouty anymore. Should I get fillers? Do I need a brow lift? Where did that grey hair come from? My hair’s so lank. Should I go brunette?” it’s amazing a) how much happier you feel and b) how much more you can get done in a day.

I dare you to try.

Read Kjerstin Gruys’ blog A Year Without Mirrors here.


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