The Disappearance of Vanity
I’m not entirely sure if my current period of social withdrawal will help or hinder my ability to interact with people in the future. I do think it’s beneficial to think about, but it’s such a weird thing to wonder what it’ll be like to talk to people again. God, I’m such a recluse…
I do know for certain that I’m fucking glad I’m not at Coachella right now along with the rest of my generation. That’s just not me, and will never be. I’m sure some of the festival goers don’t 100% match the negative stereotypes I picture, but the whole atmosphere of that place just does not interest me. The absolute worst type of festival.
So much competition. In money, looks, and in who can wear and do the most outrageous things. The main reason you go is to show off your style, decked out with as much glitter and bling as possible. And the more skin shown, the better. It’s a Vanity Fest. [And that is exactly the kind of segway I was looking for to start my topic 😉 ]
This is what was rattling around in my head when this post concept first came to me:
You know what’s not important? The blemishes on your face. The wrinkles in your smile. The tangles in your hair. The imperfections that occur within our appearances as signs of our mortality.
We get so caught up in our own image that we forget to look at anything else. The mirror isn’t the most important thing to read; try a book every once in a while. Maybe give some attention to the people around you, rather than your own reflection!
I then began to think about how relationships have become such a joke these days. The norm for people my age (that would be 21) is to “meet” someone online through their carefully-selected selfies, go out on some boring date, hook up, and drop all contact. Any other type of interaction has become plagued with the expectation that the people you meet have that in mind.
We are the hookup generation.
We get uncomfortable when we have to actually talk to someone about something serious or even confront them. You can’t really get to know people anymore because that’s not what we understand. We know short and shallow interactions. And because of that, society has evolved in some very negative ways. We’re so self-absorbed that we can’t look outward anymore. I’ve become so detached with people my age because I just don’t want to relate to this impatient and selfish mindset.
[But enough about my thoughts on the deterioration of genuine human connection, which I could go on about all day.]
I’ve recently been struggling with my own vanity.
I suppose it was built up during high school. I was so fond of my shocking blue eyes and long, straight hair. I built up my ego with every compliment I received. The shattering of this self-praised image began when my body started to go through a second puberty in college, and my skin changed for the worse. I had new issues I’d never dealt with before.
Before, a simple daily cleansing of my face was all I needed to keep it clear, and I treated my hair decently, aside from the bleaching and harsh dyes. Then my balanced skin became extremely sensitive, and the products I had been using for years suddenly aggravated my skin. My hair became a grey and dried out mess, stripped of its former radiance.
The solution: I chopped my hair at my shoulders and abandoned my skin routine.
The period that followed was my lowest point of self-esteem ever. I hated how boyishly short my hair was, and everything I tried out on my skin made it worse. I had to deal with the shame of being in public and having people see my damaged and acne-covered skin. This bothered me more than it should have. Through my battle with acne, I discovered that the real enemy was my ego. The issue wasn’t that I had acne, it was that I didn’t like not being attractive. I held my appearance to such a high standard that I made it impossible for myself to be comfortable when I knew my makeup wasn’t hiding anything.
I just couldn’t get over it; I tried so many things to fix my “broken” face.
What helped me escape my self-loathing in the end was an acceptance that I’m not perfect and shouldn’t expect to be. I’ve made some progress in improving my skin and am a lot more comfortable with myself than I used to be (even though I still have some flaws). After months of not liking what I looked like, I think my vanity is at a much healthier level. No one ever treated me differently because of my acne or unattractive short hair. It just showed me how unimportant my looks are to the people who love me. Even if I have skin problem in the future, I won’t let it get to me in the same way because my vanity has no control over me. I mean, who cares if you’re not perfect? 🙂