Is it okay to be vain? What does it mean to be vain?
According to the dictionary
The idea of being vain seems to cause people to shudder, the hair to bristle on their neck and unpleasant thoughts to fill their head.
To call someone vain is to insult them.
I would not like to be called vain and yet I am comfortable with saying I am vain.
Yes, I can and do say it, and yet know one else can call me that.
Maybe I say it with conditions attached, I use the word to acknowledge the journey towards self acceptance I have made.
This is my story
I have a crooked smile on a pretty face and for a long time that to me meant, I was not beautiful. I avoided smiling in photos and then my attempts at not smiling made the photos even worse. I would feel awkward and ugly. Luckily one day I began to see more of what I do like, the colour of my eyes, my clear skin. I began to focus more on highlighting the great and less on changing my smile. Eventually I realised that my crooked smile is what makes me me, and that I can choose to still feel beautiful, crooked smile and all. I made a pact with my much younger self, to go out and present the most awesome me I had. Yes I do have days when I am trackie pants and Ugg boots, tired and recharging. Most days my best self is make up, hair done and clothes I feel awesome in. I like to look like I have somewhere to go even if it is school pick up. I choose to be the best version of me available every single day.
What if it is vain? If it takes me to a place of self love then what could be wrong with that?
I read an interesting post yesterday by Vivienne Mcmaster, discussing vanity and self portraiture. This is part of what Vivienne wrote
But I don’t think the act of self-portraiture is vain.
I do feel like self-portraiture invites us to explore our relationship to seeing ourselves within in a positive way, to see ourselves with kindness and that involves liking what we see. To reclaim vanity or to throw it to the wind, whatever our story and our relationship to our self-image needs to shift towards a place of self-love.
I think self-portraiture can be a radical tool to see ourselves with love.
It got me thinking about my own comfort with vanity.
I delved a little deeper and found these 2 quotes.
It’s not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful. Women are taught to feel we’re not good enough, that we must live up to someone else’s standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am….Elle Macpherson
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us….Jane Austen
Yes it seems vanity is still not getting any votes. We do not want to be vain it seems.
I am vain.
I am overly proud of myself, especially when concerning appearance.
This does not mean I am shallow.
I can assure you my crooked smile and my journey towards acceptance has given my character depth and substance.
I am vain with conditions attached.