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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Would you swear off mirrors for a year?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (38922points) September 2nd, 2011

Putting aside the notion that it’s unfortunate how our society drives women to hate what they see in the mirror and that this experiment can be taken to mean that she’s avoiding looking at herself and thereby is fighting the symptom not the disease…would you do as this woman did?

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43 Answers

JessicaRTBH's avatar

Oddly enough (to me anyway) there are no full length mirrors anywhere in my house. Just one small oval one I use in the bathroom and that’s it. Probably why I am often found by reflective surfaces looking even more vain. I could probably do it.

Buttonstc's avatar

For myself personally, I can’t find a reason to do so. But then, I’m not the least bit obsessed with looking at myself and over analyzing every aspect of how I look.

I think each of us eventually get to a point in life where we either learn to accept ourselves despite society or it drives us clear crazy.

But for someone like her, with body dysmorphic obsession as she describes, it was very helpful.

For me it would just be a pretentious affectation in search of a reason.

Blackberry's avatar

No, I need to do other things besides see if I look OK. I cut my own hair sometimes, can you imagine what it would look like if I didn’t use a mirror?

Aethelflaed's avatar

No. Partly because I don’t think my reflection bothers me as much as it does that woman, and partly because putting in contacts without a mirror is really just an ER trip waiting to happen.

Buttonstc's avatar

Good point :)

mangeons's avatar

I wouldn’t. I’ll admit, I look in the mirror a lot, to fix my hair and make it look good, etc. I’d always be afraid of going out of the house looking like a mess if I couldn’t see myself!

rebbel's avatar

Maybe. Maybe not.

mazingerz88's avatar

Oh, yeahh. That would be interesting if I could really pull that off, no mirror to see me.

Seriously, I need to hide from this evil warlock who tries to find me by asking his mirror everyday as to where the handsomest guy is. He would be disappointed. LOL.

chyna's avatar

No, gotta make sure I don’t have anything in my teeth or on my face. Also, I have to make sure I don’t poke my eye out while putting on mascara.

gondwanalon's avatar

The only reason that I need a mirror (actually 2 at a time) is so I can see to cut the hair on the back of my head and neck. Yes I could go with out using any mirrors but I would have to pay a barber to cut my hair and I’m way too frugal (cheap) for that. HA!

Aethelflaed's avatar

I initially read this as “would you swear off minors for a year”. That would have been an interesting thread.

digitalimpression's avatar

No. I know I’m attractive. I don’t need to confirm it. Ever.
(that last bit is a lie)

deni's avatar

No because if I have a zit I need to be able to see in a mirror to pop it.

Seriously. OTherwise, maybe. But probably not.

Jude's avatar

If I did, my hair would look something like “There’s Something About Mary”, so, no.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

No. Over the past 2–3 years, my hair has been cut short and I’ve given up make-up, so a mirror isn’t as important for checking visual appearance. What is worrying is cancer. It runs in my family, and there are growths that crop up from time to time that need monitoring that cannot be seen without the aid of a mirror, unless living with another person. Mirrors are also needed in order to successfully drive a vehicle, but I don’t think that pertains to your question.

DominicX's avatar

I doubt I could. I probably wouldn’t want to swear off scales either :\

Blackberry's avatar

@DominicX What do you need a scale for? You probably weigh the same as me lol.

sophiesword's avatar

No. I like looking at myself when I get dressed for a night out with my friends and sometimes its not about vanity, you just need to make sure you don’t look like a complete idiot when you leave the house.

bags's avatar

Yes, I could easily live a year that way. As it is, I have mirrors in my home, most of which are old/family pieces. I don’t wear makeup, haven’t in years. Nor have I needed a mirror for my hair in years. Until very recently it was very long and I would coil it by touch and pin it up. Now it’s very short and is pretty much wash and wear. I haven’t been anywhere in years in which make-up was ‘mandatory’.

wilma's avatar

I am pretty sure that I could, but I don’t feel the need.
I don’t look in a mirror very often. Mostly just to check for spinach in my teeth, or to put on a wee bit of makeup.
I rarely look in a full length mirror, but I would if I was buying my wedding gown.

martianspringtime's avatar

That’s a really interesting question/experiment and while I’d like to try to do that, I realistically probably wouldn’t. The wall behind my computer is mirrored (as in, it was built into the wall before I lived here) and when I’m waiting for a page to load I make faces at myself. What would I do without that kind of thrilling entertainment?

Seriously though, I’d like to try to avoid looking at myself for at least an entire day.

linguaphile's avatar

Nooo. How else would I catch the errant hairs that need tweezing?

size7's avatar

No, I need a mirror to see what I’m doing when I am flossing. But I understand the idea or concept. For a very similar reason I got rid of my scale a long time ago. My little girl (who is now 17) has not had any eating dissorders and has never said anything along the lines of “being fat” or “feeling fat”. No jokes are allowed to be made along those lines as well (meaning her father is not allowed to make any type of “joke” about her being fat). As many of you know me and how I am about my self image, I can happily say that she has not had any of the self-loathing things to say about her appearance.
I won’t disclose her size, but I can tell you she is considered “medically healthy” in weight.

downtide's avatar

No. I like to make sure I’m clean and presentable, and don’t have toothpaste on my face or something before I go out. I also sometimes gel or wax my hair, that needs a mirror too.

I don’t own a full-length mirror; the last time I looked in one was when I bought a suit.

ucme's avatar

Utterly pointless exercise, so that’ll be a no then.

OpryLeigh's avatar

No. I agree entirely with what @Buttonstc said and for me, living without mirrors would cause me more stress than it would save. I like to make sure I have no food in my teeth or no toothpaste on my face! Whilst I don’t believe I am preoccupied with my looks and have very few hang ups (and non of which cause me any real bother), I do like to make sure I look presentable when I know I will be seeing people.If that’s considered vanity then so be it!

JilltheTooth's avatar

The phrase “swear off mirrors” somehow implies that the mirrors themselves hold some intrinsic evil. Mirrors are a tool, I wouldn’t “swear off mirrors” any more than I would swear off screwdrivers or hangers. If I was abusing any device and causing harm to myself or others, then indeed would I be willing to “swear” it off.
If we are “Putting aside the notion that it’s unfortunate how our society drives women to hate what they see in the mirror and that this experiment can be taken to mean that she’s avoiding looking at herself and thereby is fighting the symptom not the disease…” then what would be the point?

Kardamom's avatar

No, because I’d probably forget to comb and wash my hair if I couldn’t see it and that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Also, I need to look in the mirror when I’m flossing too. And last, but not least, I’d probably be one of those people who accidentally tucked my skirt into my underwear and not realize it. I don’t want to be that person.

Oh, and I totally forgot about this, I’m very fair skinned, and I really need to watch for any signs of skin cancer (or anything unusual that might indicate some type of illness for that matter).

Plus, I actually like me, and I think I’d miss me if I couldn’t see me everyday : (

Facade's avatar

Not a chance

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ucme Why is it pointless?

ucme's avatar

What you really wanna know? Wow! Okay then, because i’d rip my face to fucking shreds every time I shaved without a mirror. A reflection has nothing to do with vanity, it’s just simply one of many necessary/mundane actions. So to clarify, I was referring to my own views on the matter.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ucme So it would be pointless to you, only?

ucme's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh I dare say others would share a common ground on this, what do you think?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ucme I think that, when reading the article mentioned in my details, women socialized in this society know exactly what the author is talking about.

ucme's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Well good for them.
@JilltheTooth Wow, i’m shocked ;¬}

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ucme No, I mean…that perhaps this experiment makes more sense to some members of the gender that has been taught to self-criticize in the mirror.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ucme I can see how it would be pointless for someone who’s pretty secure with their own image. But for someone who has body dysmorphic disorder, using it as a stopgap so that she can get to a place where she becomes more ok with her body on a more general level? Totally makes sense. I don’t exactly get the feeling that the woman was suggesting that not looking in mirrors was more ideal than being able to look in mirrors and not be repulsed.

wilma's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir “perhaps this experiment makes more sense to some members of the gender that has been taught to self-criticize in the mirror”
If you mean females, I think perhaps that is true for some, but certainly not all. I sometimes feel that way, but usually a mirror is just a tool for me for grooming, not for critical inspection.
The woman in your link had a problem, it was probably a useful experiment for her. For me it would just be a nuisance.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wilma Yes, for sure, it makes only to some women, as I said. But it certainly makes more sense to women than me, sadly.

Shippy's avatar

Society seems to think I need a mirror.

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