Vanity is defined as “Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.” You can hazard guess as to what I’ve been thinking about.
It started when my husband was talking to me as I got ready for bed one night. While I dabbled on eye cream, vitamin-c serum and moisturizer, I watched him watching me. As I continued, I had to ask him, “Am I vain?” His response was a solid no, but it left me wondering more and more about why I do what I do and who I am.
The spark of vanity lives in all of us. Even if you are the most humble person walking this great big rock, there are still parts of you, deep down inside, that feels this push. It doesn’t matter what it is, we all have one part of us that we really like. That’s not vanity. Or is it?
I’m very much aware that my eyes are one of my best features and I’ve spent a lot of time to find the best looks for me to show them off. I also paid an exorbitant amount for eye cream to keep them “fresh”. I know they aren’t going to stop aging, but I do know that I will treat them well and play with whatever card genetics has passed down to me.
I’m not spending thousands on Botox or cosmetic procedures, but there could come a day I take that route. Is that vanity? Or is it maintenance?
Do we focus intently on our best features because it makes us feel better, or because we take excessive pride in our appearance?
I would say… yes.
There are parts of our body, face, etc., that we strongly dislike, some even hate. If we didn’t have issues with a little wobble in our belly, Spanx would not be a multi-billion dollar corporation. Barbie taught us that our breasts were supposed to be pert and large, so we have the WonderBra. I use high end and drugstore items, but I’ve seen some moisturizers that make me feel a little woozy when I check the price tag. Woozy and perhaps a wee bit curious about their purported magical properties. At the same time, I also don’t want to calculate the cost of what’s in my cosmetics case.
It’s not that I’m putting a question out into the void that is the internet, but more of a chance to question who I am, what I do and why I do it. To be quite honest with you, this post has been sitting in my head for over a week, but I haven’t known how to put it together as a cohesive train of thought, so it feels really scattered and messy.
Vanity can be a very self-destructive trait. It can control even the most level-headed person. Which answers my question for me. I am vain, but only on special occasions. After all, the life of a writer is one of solitude. Good luck getting us out of our yoga pants, or into the shower, when we are on deadline. But that could also be another untapped level of vanity I haven’t thought about….yet.