Window dressing- the consuming nature of vanity

It’s just window dressing…
Filo 795The older I get the more in depth I get with issues that face women. Most women at some point have been stereotyped for an image that they have essentially created, often unknowingly.

As a teen, as I have previously mentioned I was an ugly duckling. Well self-perceived anyhow-

I remember once I hit my 20’s (yes I was a late bloomer…) I couldn’t believe the attention one could get by simply looking attractive. This was so much better. This was so much fun. Doors literally were opened ….

I felt horrified by my previous image of bad skin, braces and wacky hairdo-s (I had an orange spike at one point OMG). Why hadn’t I got on this beauty bandwagon earlier?

In the last ten years my ego has flourished on compliments. “You could be a model, Are you a model now? You should be…?” I sent photos to an agency, who responded “Love your look-can’t wait to meet you”. My ego soared but my head said…..They were good photos but I don’t really look like that, perhaps I should get my lips done before I meet her?

I was hired specifically on my appearance. “You are the right look for my business a gallery owner once gushed at me”. It could have been the worst job in the world (and it was) but I didn’t care he liked me for what he could clearly see.

Once I was asked to stand at the front of the line with all the pretty girls and all the ugly ones were to remain at the back (I was 21). I remember being horrified that someone could say that yet my ego soared in appreciation that I was cast on the front line. This was an ugly ducklings ultimate comeback.

I remember talking to a person I went to school with. They didn’t recognise me. “You look completely different?” “Thank god I thought- I’m so much better now…”

Somebody accused me of having no personality but on the upside he thought I was attractive. Fine by me I thought. Who cares about personality?

Time passed and if ever something went wrong I would think if I was more attractive this wouldn’t happen. Relationships wouldn’t bust, I would be more secure, I would be happier. I was so wrong.

Once you get to a point where vanity is consuming you it’s about as enjoyable as cleaning the toilet. You will never ever be happy if your self worth is reliant on others flattering opinions. If you don’t make peace with yourself (excuse the holistic phrasing), it’s going to be a long unhappy road.

Every time I get overly caught up in vanity now, I step out of it purposely. A friend told me this morning someone thought I was attractive. Again my ego inflated, the person had said “The one with the long brown hair and wears high heels”. I looked at my feet in flat sandals- I thought for a moment “I really should wear heels, it clearly does look better”. Ahhhhh -the issues of the ego.

I’m not against make-up, beauty, fashion, treatments, enhancements, surgeries- whatever floats your boat. In fact I’m not adverse to any of it- far from it. I write about how great some of those things can make you feel. However a beautiful body and a vacant inside are about as captivating after 10 minutes as a bunch of wilted flowers.

When your passion comes from inside rather than obsessing about the outside you will be far more content. Mind you I still find time to obsess about which side I really like my hair parted on and clearly a lot of other fashion equations…

I look at all my friends and I can honestly say they are all beautiful-The whole lot, undoubtedly so. The ones that are vain, the ones that aren’t and all the ones in between- I doubt they see it but they are. Do I tell them? Sometimes but not always- They are so much more just pretty faces.

Vanity- Don’t let it eat you up.

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