According to Miriam-Webster the top definition of VANITY is:
- inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance
- something that is vain, empty, or valueless
This is the fact portion of the blog. Now I will proceed to the anecdote
I wrote a chapter for my book that I brought into writing class for dissection. I wrote a scene where my protagonist is preparing for a date. She tells the reader her grooming ritual and states that she is not vain. One piece of feedback I received was “Character seems vain.”
Character seems vain.
Is using make-up and moisturizing creams vain? Are these grooming rituals that I go through myself considered vain? Does the fact that I have a daily grooming ritual make me vain?
I wear make-up most days of the week. I don’t do it for others: I do it for myself. I like eye shadow and liner and blush and mascara. I enjoy this portion of my morning where I either listen to music of the news and get myself ready. I like when I am going out at night and I do something a little more dramatic. I admit, I like the way I look with make-up on. To be fair, I am also happy with myself without make-up.
Does my wanting/liking make up make me vain?
I also have a very elaborate skin care ritual. I wear moisturizer and serum and eye cream. I wash my face thoroughly at night. I like clean, and I like when my skin feels soft. My products all use some form of the words “anti-aging”. I don’t buy these things to appear younger- I buy the products that are best for my skin. I am oldish- I need different things than my teen daughter does. But does my wanting to take care of my skin in an age appropriate manner make me vain?
What is the line between self care and vanity?
I think vanity means different things to different people. If my Mother does not have a full face of make-up on, she will wear sunglasses. Doesn’t matter the time of day, or if he is indoors, she will put on sunglasses because she doesn’t want anyone to see her without make-up. See, to me, that is vain. That’s my definition. My Mother can’t understand how I go out without make-up. I am 53, and she will still say to me “Lipstick. Why aren’t you wearing lipstick?” (OK- here’s my thing- I wear lipstick at night, but during the day I wear tinted lip balm. I don’t care if you can’t see my lips from across the room- I am fine with just a hint of color, but full on protection from chapped lips)
So, for my first real blog of 2018, I ask you all the questions:
What is vanity?
Is being vain bad?
Does caring about yourself reduce your “value”?
This is going to be a multi part blog, as I will look at different aspects of self care in the next few weeks, and look forward to different thoughts on this topic.