My family is attempting a mirror fast. In case you didn’t know, this new trend involves avoiding your reflection for days on end.
The practice has long been observed in Jewish homes when families are in mourning, but has now been rebranded in America as an anti-narcissism protest.
Former anorexic and blogiste Kjerstin Gruys shunned mirrors for a year to stop conflating her looks with self-esteem and succeeded. The Richardsons, however, are finding the fast less edifying.
For my husband, the taking down of mirrors just facilitates a glorious new low in personal grooming…and the kids don’t check their reflections from one month to the next.
All housekeeping of stray nostril furniture and toothpaste on their faces is, as far as they’re concerned, my responsibility.
I admit I have colluded in this. The economy being the way it is, if I do not regularly traumatise them with a spat-on Kleenex, they will never leave home. But by day three I’m about to crack.
‘I’ve got an interview. I have to look in the mirror’ I say.
‘How shallow you are!’ My Light observes, revisiting yesterday’s Bolognaise in the stubble on his lip.
‘Well then, you are going to have to help me,’ I tell him.
‘I need you to do my hair and my lipstick.’
‘I’m wasted in Portsmouth’ he observes. ‘I should be on set in Hollywood touching up Penelope Cruz.’
‘More eye shadow.’
The oldest chips in ‘and blusher’.
Him Indoors delves deeper in the make-up bag. As I trot off to the station (rear view mirrors are forbidden) I start to think there is something in Mirror Fasting.
My progeny have told me I look beautiful, and without the cruel testimony of crows’ feet reflected back at me, for once I believe them.
I storm the interview. ‘We are an equal opportunities employer,’ the HR woman tells me, ‘and will of course be fully supportive. But may I ask, Ms Richardson, when you will be having the gender re-alignment?’ Oh well, nothing’s perfect.