The Vanities

Vanities. That’s how I call them. The growing number of people very much taken in only by themselves and mostly by the way they look. I see them everywhere. People worry about an immigrant invasion, but we’re already invaded. We’re invaded by a plague of people not giving a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves, for the sake of a good Instagram picture or Snapchat story. I oppose this.

 

I don’t know if social media platforms like Instagram has given these people a golden ticket to expressing their vanity or if it has made them as vain as they are. It is probably a bit of both. It’s hard to say what started this, because if no one would’ve wanted to fall in love with themselves and show how interesting a life they have to others, these social media platforms wouldn’t have succeeded. But then again, it is the competition that sparked that high dose of vanity we see nowadays. Competing over who has the coolest life.

Who cares, one might argue, let them be vain on Instagram if they wish to do so. If that was the case, I wouldn’t care indeed. The problem is that it doesn’t take place only on social media. It affects our daily lives in the real world, for whatever that notion’s worth. I don’t need studies to know how unhappy it actually makes people (even though most studies back up my empirical findings), I can see it in the Vanities around me. They’re depressed and insecure. They feel a constant notion of failure. Why? Because someone is doing it better.

Because they feel they’re losing the competition, they become even more vain. Constantly making pictures of everything in their -mostly not very special- lives that are supposed to make other people feel jealous of them. Tell me please, how does life feel when it’s all about trying to make other people be jealous of you? I think I already know the answer. It sucks. The Vanities are so busy trying to create envy, that they forget to enjoy life. They forget to speak to the people sitting next to them, even if those people are friends, because they’re too busy making pictures of themselves. They forget to be respectful in Buddhist temples and Catholic cathedrals because they want that one perfect picture and that picture doesn’t include that scarf they were made to wear to cover themselves up. They forget about the world surrounding them because all they can think of is their own small high. The high they will get for a day when their new picture generates likes.

The Vanities are junkies. If you think this is too harsh, think again. Junkies are self-destructive and will do anything for a high. Vanities are self-destructive and will do anything for a high. There are so many resemblances between the Vanity and the junkie. It seems unfair to the junkie that his ‘name’ is a taboo, because of his behaviours, that are practically the same as the Vanity’s behaviours. All that we can do is to stick that Vanity in the taboo sphere, where it belongs.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a very fierce piece. I pretty much agree with you, but maybe you could be more sympathetic towards the Vanities as they have a strangely compelling power for so many? Some interesting studies about happiness in The Year of Living Danishly (Danes famously believe “you are not worth anything” and thus have a rather anti-celebrity culture. In English I understand that as don’t get “too big for your boots”. Nicola http://www.islingtonfacesblog.com

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    1. Hi Nicola, thank you for your reply. I believe the Vanities are only compelling to people who are like them. Non-Vanities don’t really find them all that interesting.

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