My first book, Mirror, Mirror OFF the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year is available to purchase via AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks A MillionIndieboundiTunes and wherever books are sold.


Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year tells the story of Kjerstin Gruy’s quest for personal growth and self-acceptance.  She swore off mirrors (and all reflective surfaces) for a whole year, just months before her wedding, even forgoing a final once-over before her walk down the aisle.

Written in Gruys’s hilarious and very relatable voice, Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall is her keenly observed memoir of personal growth merged with timely social commentary on our culture’s unhealthy obsession with beauty. As a recovered anorexic whose flair for fashion and curiosity about body image led her to pursue a career as a fashion merchant and later as a PhD candidate in sociology, Kjerstin Gruys found herself in a predicament as “a body-image expert with a body-image problem.” So she took matters into her own hands in a society that both prizes and stigmatizes physical beauty. Her story offers a refreshing take on what it means to cultivate a positive body image. 

“Kjerstin Gruys writes with honesty, insight, and humor about her struggle to maintain sanity and self-confidence in a world where women are besieged with messages about the importance of beauty and image. Kjerstin’s story will speak to anyone who is seeking to make peace with what she sees in the mirror and discover her own inner beauty.”
—Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

"Kjerstin nimbly deconstructs the internal struggle between the desire to accept ourselves and the desire to be accepted by others. Her story is an important reminder that what we see in the mirror is not just our reflection but a reflection of the society in which we live."
—Golda Poretsky, author of Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal

Mirror Mirror off the Wall is not just about Kjerstin Gruy's 365 day mirror-less odyssey. It's also about the psychological cataclysm that results when So-Cal bride meets feminist sociologist inside the mind and heart of the same person. Gruys grapples with the ubiquitous wedding ‘shoulds’ and puts her own body image advocacy to the ultimate test. She emerges with powerful lessons about trust, friendship, love, and being at peace with your own body.”
—Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., FAED, Director, University of North Carolina Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders

“Would you have the courage to give up looking in the mirror for a year—including your wedding day? Kjerstin Gruys did, and in doing so, learned to question her assumptions about appearance, trust, feminism, and the wedding-industrial complex, all of which she shares in this thought-provoking and honest account of her year without mirrors.”
 —Lynn Peril, author of Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons

“Kjerstin Gruys holds a critical mirror up to weight prejudice, revealing how it distorts our lives and our society. Her year-long experiment and powerful insights point the way for people of all sizes to reject such distortions in favor of already-available fabulousness.”
—Marilyn Wann, author of Fat!so?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size


  1. I will definitely be reading this. I started following you mid last year and have loved reading your posts and I felt like I was on the journey with you. Congratulations and I can't wait!

  2. I would love to do an email interview with you for our non-profit site for authors. You can find out more info at If you are interested please let me know. Your story was amazing tonight on 20/20. Great inspiration to us all!

  3. thank you for sharing your story on 20/20, it was such an inspiration! Don't know if I could go one day w/o a mirror! Keep up the wonderful work and congrats on your wedding :) Beth Thomson

  4. Congratulations on your achievement! I saw you on 20/20 and thought it was a real inspiration! More of us should be more concerned with how we feel rather than how we look!! Thanks!!

  5. Good for you! You are absolutely correct and as a man, my image of beauty is an image of a woman such as yourself.

  6. I just watched the clip of the 20/20 show. Wow! That is a wonderful story. What an inspiration you are, I hope you can touch many lives especially young girls with your story. Just from watching you on the 20/20 show I can see that you are a beautiful young lady on the inside and out. Thank you.

  7. Your story is so inspiring! I wil try as long as i can with no mirrors, but I don't think I'll be as good as you!

  8. Hi, my name is Angelika. I am German, living part-time in my palapa-jungle house in a little (car free!) fishing village 'Yelapa' in Mexico and part time with my American husband in Hudson, Florida. I've experienced a radical spiritual awakening through covering up my mirrors 12 years ago in Mexico. I have not looked into a 'normal' reversed mirror ever since. I am writing a book myself called "Beyond The Mirror World". Ever since I am giving people their true identity back. First through the "Video with a difference" (videofeedback 10 minutes alone! with yourself) and then in 2006 through finding John Walter's True Mirror! A non-reversed 3-D mirror (a combination of 2 optical 'front-surface' mirrors that join at exactly 90 degrees to form a seamless true-image). I have shown this True Mirror to hundredth of people, men, women, children and the reactions are amazing! I would love you to have that experience for yourself to see what I am talking about.
    I do not want to give you, or anyone else a new image but rather the realization that we are Divine Beings/Love expressing in this particular human form. There is no 'danger' of false identification with the True Mirror, it is a looking 'outside in' rather than looking 'inside out' which creates the illusion of a separate self, a 'me' in the mirror and a world/other people out there... I invite you to check out my YouTube channel 'Yelapaangel' to watch my videos "The True Mirror explained Part 1 + 2", "For Oprah and Eckhart Tolle's New Earth class" and the video I've recently recorded for David Icke's writing contest "Remember Who You Are". Also, you might be interested in my French-Canadian friend Yves Dore, who initiated my 'awakening' through a 'white dot in the mirror'. I know that might sound strange but check out his website "An Initiation in the Global Village", Section: "Mirror" - especially:
    "MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL WHAT THE «BLEEP» ARE YOU DOING TO MY BRAINS?" and "THE WHITE DOT IN THE MIRROR AND THE REVERSAL EFFECT OF THE OVERHEATED IMAGE". I think you will love this! Also, the "Videofeedback"! Lots of Love and Light on your journey of 'self discovery'! Angelika Linke (Yelapaangel)

    Please feel free to befriend me on Facebook! I've commented on your page...

    My American website:
    (check out my 'mirror world' explanation!)

    John Walter's website: (Discover your True Reflection) especially the comment sheets of people at Burningman's True Mirror Palace

  9. Kudos to you for doing this! I'm currently completing my own eating disorder recovery book and always encourage others to try living without the scale, since there are so many other ways to gauge health and fitness. I think I'll keep my mirror because I think it's important to learn to focus on what you DO love about your body, and flaunt it!

  10. you are a inspiration! i can only say thank you thank you thank you! we need more people like you in this world! i am from brazil, just so you know how far you have reached! you have my respect!

  11. This world is so sick ! Everyone who think you are fat or ugly has a mental problem.
    You are a regular women with a regular body. You look good and you have carisma.

  12. I saw you on german television and I've got to say you're such an inspiration for all women of the world! don't take any care of those negative comments! You're a beautiful woman and I wish you and your husband the very best :) keep on being the woman you had been without mirrors :) greetings from Germany!

  13. Just saw you on the Jeff Probst show and was inspired to share your book and blog on my blog Your journey was very inspiring and such a good lesson to be in the moment and live life from our hearts. You are a beautiful and soulful woman and I wish you and your husband a long and happy life together. You are an inspiration for all woman and men!!!

  14. This is a book I would love to read. The whole feel of you and your blog/book makes me feel hopeful. What I particularly relate to is the quote written on the mirror in your header "We are more than this". This is exactly what I enjoy blogging about ( Our physical appearance isn't US, we can focus on, and love, ourselves, who we are (not just our bodies). We can learn to love the body we're in while devoting our lives to improving our minds rather than our bodies! Thanks Kjerstin, I can't wait to check out your book :)

  15. Hi Kjertin,
    it's Angelika (yelapaangel) who told you about the non-reversed TRUE MIRROR..

    I see you've published your book. Congratulations!

    I'm just wondering... you never got a True Mirror, how come?

    Did you go back to looking at your 'normal, reversed' mirror image?
    Thanks for your reply.
    Love Angelika -True Mirror Representative

  16. Hey I'm 14 years old and reading your book right now! I find it inspiring and I feel like I relate to you a lot. :) I've constantly been putting myself down but I'm trying to accept my body as it is! Anyways, It would be amazing if you responded :)
    - Laurel

    1. Laurel - I'm so glad you're enjoying the book! Body acceptance is so worth it. Good luck!

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