You’re so Vain…I bet You Think This Blog is About You….

by Nana Malone

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m vain…a little. I proudly wave my vanity flag.

What? Don’t judge me. We all carry some measure of vanity. Every time, you apply lip gloss or suck in your gut, you’re waving your vanity flag. We’ve all been told from the time we were children that vanity is a one of those mortal sins. Though of all sins, wanting to look hot in a summer bikini doesn’t seem so bad.

Vanity is defined as: Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments.

Who’s to say what’s excessive? Just because I’m constantly on the hunt for my sixteen year old booty, or I’d give my let pinky toe to have my pre-pregnancy body back, does that make me vain or conceited? I really would give my left pinky toe, maybe the right one too. Maybe Madame Carly Simon (You’re so Vain) or Miss Jackson If you’re Nasty (Son of a Gun) had it right in their songs.

But in this day of Heidi Montag surgeries, is it about vanity anymore? Or is it about something deeper like self esteem? On an episode of The Hills – again, don’t judge me – Heidi was telling her mother how she didn’t feel beautiful before her surgery and now she was finally happy, even though most of the rest of the world thinks she looks like a plasticized alien. Is she in possession of a supersized vanity flag or did she need all that surgery to make her feel good about herself? Would she have been better served with a tube of lipstick and some intensive therapy?

Would I rather my newborn daughter have an inflated ego or feel so desperate she resorts to so much plastic surgery she barely resembles her former self? I can put up with a little vanity. After all what’s wrong with a little pride when the alternative is self deprecation?

As little Siaki grows up, I’ll have to make sure to teach her to be kind and smart and all that noble stuff. But I promise I will also teach her the benefits of mascara and a little bit of vanity.

Go on, wave your vanity flag.


  1. I have nothing against cosmetic surgery - I think many people have greatly benefited from it. But like anything - you can have too much of a good thing because it speaks of a deeper underlying issue - and that is as you pointed out - low self-esteem - but perhaps even more - self-hatred - which is very sad. How do we combat that? Well, I think by example to younger generations - as you are doing with your daughter - if your daughter sees that her mommy is healthy, confident and takes care of herself then she will too. I don't see that as vanity - I see that as positivity. It's when moms put their little girls on extreme diets and in beauty pageants and whiten their teeth all before the age of 6 -well that is kinda scary to me - and those girls grow up to be like the kinds of women we see on reality TV. That's not teaching self-confidence -it's putting enormous pressure on girls to adhere to a particular, cookie cutter image that we see in Playboy playmates and reality TV stars. Great post!

  2. Empowerment is wonderful, so long as it's balanced with concern for others. Self-confidence will take anyone far, maybe farther than vanity. Maybe the key word in that definition is "excessive."
    I always thought Carly's song was to taunt the one she thought so vain, not praise him.
    Thanks for the food for thought!


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