21-year-old college student gives up mirror for 40 days


A 21-year-old University of St. Thomas student is giving up mirrors for 40 days as part social experiment and part Lenten sacrifice.

Angela Deeney calls her endeavor "Paint the Mirrors," and is urging others to take up the "challenge to repaint your image of beauty by covering your mirrors and letting your life and actions reflect your true beauty."

"I'm excited to see what I will discover about myself and what beauty means," the college senior told KARE 11. "The temporary sacrifice can't compare to what will be the result."

Deeney says she has sworn off all reflective surfaces, even rear-view mirrors. She said she is relying on trusted friends to make sure she looks presentable for upcoming interviews.

One of Deeney's mirrors now looks like this:

Deeney said the inspiration for the project came earlier this year when she studied in Venezuela and practiced simplicity, a three-week adventure during which she didn't wear makeup.

"I really saw that I was avoiding mirrors more because I was afraid of what I’d see inside of it," the Catholic studies and communications major told Catholic Spirit, an archdiocese publication, of her trip. "Instead, I put my focus on the people in front of me and what I was doing and what I thought was beautiful in them.”

She is writing about this experiment on her blog and on a Facebook page for the project.

It's not a new experiment.

“It gave me a lot of serenity,” Autumn Whitefield-Madrano, a 30-something freelance writer in New York told the New York Times in 2012, of two monthlong "mirror fasts."

Kjerstin Gruys, of San Francisco, gave up looking in the mirror for a year, a project she launched just months before her wedding. She later wrote a book called "Mirror Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body Without Looking at it for a Year."

Why a year? She told USA Today, "I thought it would give me a fighting chance to put those body image insecurities in a smaller place. I wanted to think less about my body. I wanted to spend more time viewing myself as a whole person who has talents and relationships."

Taking a break from mirrors can be a good reminder that life offers more important things to focus on, Vivian Diller, a New York psychologist and author said in Prevention magazine, “but the adjustments we make have to be on our own view of ourselves — not on the reflections created by mirrors.”

Next Up

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.


Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.

3M Open, Tony Finau

Multiple injuries after pickup crashes into shuttle bus at 3M Open

Blaine police listed 25 people as being involved in the collision.


40-year-old cheddar block discovered in Wisconsin

A block of eastern Wisconsin cheddar cheese that dates to the Nixon administration, recently uncovered in a cheese shop cooler, will be sold for $10 per ounce. The unintentionally aged cheddar, some 40 years old, might amount to the oldest collection of cheese ever assembled and sold to the public.