How I Stopped Using Mirrors and Started Stealing Glances of Myself in Reflective Buildings

I’m my own biggest critic when it comes to my appearance. I spent most of my life feeling terrible whenever I looked in the mirror. So, when my coworkers told me about this 30-day challenge, I threw out every mirror in my house to end the constant focus on how I look.


Now, I just check my appearance from sideways glances in buildings on my way to work. It’s building up my self-esteem—pun intended!


The problem with mirrors is that they show us a fairly accurate reflection of ourselves. I just wanted to get rid of that. Everyone looks good with a shroud of a dark building over them and if you don’t? Blame it on the weird curvature of the building. No longer obsessively checking in on what I actually looked at, I started getting my confidence back within a few days.


At first, I was worried about taking the mirror-fast challenge. I didn’t know what it would be like to only see my clothes in a building as I walked to work. The first week was tough. I passed a very reflective Bank of America and thought, “Eugh, is that what I look like?” Then I passed a slightly shiny Trader Joe’s and thought, “Hey wait, I look pretty good!” It turns out, how I look is totally subjective, as long as I’m looking at my reflection in a storefront window.



Back when I was still using mirrors, I was dissatisfied with my reflection, no matter what I wore or how hard I worked out. Then I realized I was never going to be happy in this body, as long as I was looking at it in a mirror. But I don’t blame myself for my reflection in a building. I blame the building. Unless of course the building makes me look great, and then that’s all me, baby!


Putting on makeup has been a struggle without the aid of a mirror, but I wasn’t willing to give it up—let’s just say I made a few friends with the people who shared office windows with the street. They got to see the “real” me, but thanks to their blurry, dirty windows, I got to see the best me!


The no-mirror just-building challenge has opened me up to a more confident experience of my appearance. Allowing myself to place blame on the buildings and not myself made me realize that I’m not the beer-bloated, tired hag I once thought I was. Thanks, buildings!