Vanity- Curse or Boon?
“I loathe narcissism but I approve of vanity”
Diana Vreeland once said these words and they seem appropriate to begin with. At the risk of sounding futile or narcissistic, Vanity may just be one of the greatest strengths of a person, as long as it does not feed on contempt and disrespect towards others. They define it as an excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others, but do we need vanity?
If we talk about women, in many parts of the world, we have battled and survived Patriarchy for as long as humanity has existed. In many parts of the world, women are still deprived of confidence, and admiration. They bank upon their partners, families, friends, society to feel cherished and acknowledged. However, Vanity concerns not just women but men too, so, is it really that bad to love yourself, believe in yourself, and take pride in who you are as a person?
Another term that instills fear and distrust in us, and subjects us to prejudices, humiliation, and immense pressure is “Perfection”. Perfection is by and large a showcasing contrivance, or sometimes what the society tries to sell us, so that we”fit in”. It uses different methods, however, like aesthetics, an acceptable relationship status, a coveted lifestyle, or a seemingly perfect job, to lure us or misguide us. I believe perfection is unremarkable, mundane, and unattractive, and it makes us judge others based on their appearances, lifestyle choices, or professions. We can achieve it without subjecting ourselves or others to the horrors of judgement, as long as we are able to accept ourselves, and nobody can take it away from us as long as we believe in ourselves.
“Have an everlasting affair with yourself”
You, with your raw and exposed emotions, your little flaws and imperfections, are what make you so beautiful and unique.
Along these lines, I believe Vanity may be a boon without the possibility of narcissistic undertones. To love yourself is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. I come across so many women/men who are my colleagues, friends, or even strangers, who are unaware of their worth, and are skeptical about their appearances or abilities just because they have been made to believe that, by their partners, bosses, relatives, and many a times, social media. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we need another man/woman’s approval to be sure of what we are? I believe everyone is unique and fabulous, with their flaws and imperfections which make a person even more beautiful. We need to rise above the apprehensions from the lack of a loving partner or family, admiring friends or colleagues, or a social media following.
To form a fulfilling relationship with your soulmate, you need to have a phenomenal relationship with your own body and soul. You cannot be truthful and appreciative towards another person’s feelings, if you are unable to acknowledge your own. If we believe in God, and that God made our bodies and dwells within us and is all around us, then isn’t it our obligation to protect ourselves from the physical and emotional damage? Is it not essential that we adore and respect our bodies by not subjecting it to any kind of abuse? Aren’t we capable of treating other people without involving our pride and prejudice, and no judgement, only then?
“Worship your body, for it is the sanctuary for your soul.”- Melanie Moushigian Koulouris
We must wake up everyday, look at ourselves in the mirror, and tell our reflections that we are beautiful and capable, and deserving of love and happiness. Once in a while, It is important to accept our flaws instead of camouflaging them, admire ourselves, embrace our imperfections, and deal with our insecurities. I have battled with my own insecurities and inhibitions, and with a lot of effort, I have risen above them. It began when I fell in love with myself, and began to enjoy my own company, and believed in myself despite my failures. Today, I am a considerably stronger person and I have let go of my insecurities and inhibitions, accepting my raw and exposed self.
So, if you want to love another person with all your heart, first learn to love yourself. If you want to accept another one unconditionally, learn to accept your own self. We need to free ourselves from the antagonism of biases and judgments in order to live a fulfilling life, and treat ourselves and the people around us in a deserving manner.