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.