Trend: Mirror Fasting
Try-it Rating: 2/5
A mirror can quickly turn from a practical tool (Do I have spinach in my teeth?) to a springboard for self-criticism (Ugh, I hate my neck!). In an effort to boost confidence and stop worrying about their looks, some women are doing "mirror fasts"—swearing off all reflective surfaces for a week, a month, or even longer. After catching fire on blogs last year, the trend has spawned hours of news coverage and at least one major book deal.
Not all experts are on board. "If you avoid your reflection altogether, you're not really making peace with your appearance," says psychologist Vivian Diller, Ph.D., coauthor of Face It (Hay House, 2011).
More important is what happens when the mirror returns, says Kristin Neff, Ph.D., an associate professor of human development at the University of Texas. She offers a different approach.
"If you start to think something negative about your looks, stop and ask yourself what you'd say to a friend," she says. Then grant yourself the same kindness.
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