Ever come across a person who boasts about themselves? About how they look or who they are, we just roll our eyes at them.
Vanity leaves a bad taste in our mouth and it is not uncommon for us to find desperate ways to distance ourselves from the source. “…social scientists discovered that men of all ages are significantly more likely to be arrogant and narcissistic. Interestingly enough, men and women showed no significant differences in vanity. It could be argued that the perception of vanity in women is skewed due to the societal pressure to participate in the beauty industry’s impossible demands.”
Vanity is blinding, it keeps one from seeing their true potential. From understanding who they really are and what they can and cannot achieve. The root cause of us partaking in vain behaviour is because we want to seem much more than we are.
In most religion vanity is considered one of the cardinal sins and mythology is filled with stories about the consequences of vanity which is the downfall of the person indulging in the act. A very common example is the Greek story about Narcissus, who was a beautiful man but didn’t think that anyone was worthy of loving him, one day while he was drinking water from a pool he saw his own reflection and fell in love with it. When he realized that he couldn’t be with the same person who was in the reflection, he killed himself. Even idioms in most cultures refer to the doom of the vain.
Public figures such as celebrities and politicians can sometimes brazenly indulge in acts of vanity like creating exclusive attire imprinted with their names. Our politics show the shift in preference for people with bombastic promises than a nuanced proposition. Vanity is preferred and is the only way to show capability even if there is no real work supporting the claims.
With social media it has become even more difficult to distinguish vanity from self confidence. Being confident about who you are and your work comes from putting in the effort, and believing that you can do it.
This collection is an ode to this strange human tendency which in its excessive amount can be off putting and its optimal amount can be strengthening.