Senior Angela Deeney is challenging women to redefine the meaning of beauty by avoiding mirrors for 40 days.
Deeney created a program called “Paint the Mirrors,” hoping to help others learn to love themselves.
“Ultimately it’s about, like, redefining beauty and what is beauty, and redefining what that entire word and that entire notion means,” Deeney said.
Deeney said her experiences with culture and simplicity during a service trip to Venezuela inspired her to create the program.
“It started with my experiences going to Venezuela, and what it meant to live simply and what it meant to not look in the mirror and be apart from that,” Deeney said. “I think what it grew into was something beautiful.”
Deeney said she spreads the message around campus with her blog.
“I know for sure at least 15 other girls on this campus that I know personally are participating, but I know they have friends and a few other girls at other colleges that are my friends from high school. They have friends, so the message is still just spreading,” Deeney said.
The blog is also a way for Deeney to stay in touch with other participants and to provide support throughout the 40 days.
Freshmen roommates Lauren Pyle and Emily Heimel started participating in the program as a lenten resolution. The roommates said they give each other support throughout the process.
“We gave up mirrors for Lent, and we thought it would just be a struggle,” Pyle said. “It’s just so natural to just look in the mirror. It’s kind of humbling in a way not to look at yourself and not to worry about what you’re looking like.”
While Deeney said she is unsure of where the movement is headed, she is hopeful that the message will spread.
“I’m still like, ‘what is this gonna look like?’ That’s what’s cool about this is that there’s a lot of growth to be done and a lot of development,” Deeney said. “It’s still in the beginning stages but the message is growing, and that’s the exciting part.”
Morgan Neu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.