“Vanity is a glass castle.”

I’ve always told myself that beauty is just another arena of life that I can improve. I can work out for a better body, choose more flattering makeup and clothes, get braces or contacts, do my hair – I can do something about it.

But because I am vain, I struggle internally if I don’t think I look good even after I try. I don’t go out because I feel terrible, I feel terrible because I look terrible, and I think I look terrible probably because I am terrible- terribly vain.

My good friend, Tracy, wrote this on vanity:

Vanity will hurt you when you are no longer beautiful. It will turn to envy, jealousy, anger, hate. Rather than looking forward in life, you might look back to the peak of ‘beauty’ and long for those days.

For the past few months, I’ve come to think of vanity as a glass castle – glorious and beautiful and yet so fragile. The bigger it grows, the more risk of everything shattering. It’s not a place to live in long-term.

Tracy’s comment resonated with me. I know that one day, the inevitable will come: my youth and beauty will fade with old age and it will never come back. Even now, if I am forced to leave my house without makeup, I feel annoyed at myself for having a natural instinct to hide or look down and I feel anger at whoever made me go into public in such a state. How would I feel when that becomes my every day?

I would most definitely feel envy, jealousy, anger, and hate. These toxic feelings will be not only directed to the people around me, but also to myself, which leads back to my greatest fear in life: hating myself.

I sit here and I think about how I have made my own glass castle, expanded by beautified selfies, closets full of clothes, and my own sense of entitlement that I deserve to think I’m pretty because I “worked for it”. I think about how ironic it is that I don’t feel pretty if I simply wear glasses or take off my makeup, and how this feeling stays even when other people tell me otherwise. I re-read what I’m writing right now and I think: This entire post is so shallow it’s almost disgusting.

I ask myself why I care so much about all of this. Why is it so important for me to feel like I am pretty? Why are my feelings of self-goodness so dependent on that, and not other virtuous traits? Why am I like this?

Evidently, my vanity is a trait I have to seriously work on this year. It feels very important for me to do so, and I hope that writing this terribly ugly post is my first step towards defeating it.

Sincerely, Loewe

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2 thoughts on ““Vanity is a glass castle.”

  1. I’m flattered that you chose to make a blog post about my comment! :) 

    This isn’t an ugly post at all. It’s a very honest, brave, and self-reflective one. These are the kinds of difficult thoughts that people try to avoid – to deflect personal responsibility for why they are the way they are for as long as possible.

    In my opinion, you have the kind of personality that’s very clear on what is right/wrong and good/bad. On the positive side, it means you are determined, decisive, hard-working, have lots of convictions and are highly ethical. On the negative side, you have a tendency to be really, really hard on yourself when you believe you’re doing something ‘wrong’. Like how to you, you see your own writing here as ‘shallow’, which is bad, and therefore ‘disgusting’. But to myself (the reader), I see it as really sincere, which shows emotional depth and beauty in its honesty. But ultimately it doesn’t matter how I feel, it’s really how you feel that affects your worldview.

    As for your question, “Why am I like this?” I recommend you read about this enneagram description. It might not apply completely, but I found myself vigorously nodding along when I read my own description for the first time.

    https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-3/

    Lots of love,

    Tracy

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for another insightful comment. I took a read through the enneagram description – I believe you convinced me to take a quiz before – so it did ring a few bells. I am definitely a “3” and I can proudly say I care a lot about status and my personal achievements/growth. Hopefully in due time I can lessen my belief in beauty as an achievement and channel that into another area.

      I just always think I can have it all, ha.

To Loewe:

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