Vanity Fair

Friday, while I was visiting over at my mother's house, she caught me sneaking glances in the mirror every now and again before jokingly stating matter-of-factly,

"Coffey, stop looking in the mirror. Vanity is a sin."
I guess I hadn't even realized that I was doing it, as is always the case, so I was a bit surprised and embarrassed by what she said... or by being caught, rather. I honestly never stopped to think about how vain I acutally am. I presume to think that no one does, really (unless you're just downright conceited and in need of attention and validation). I consider myself a modest and self-deprecating person, but when taken to task about my mild (or not so mild) narcissism, I guess I am rather vain. I haven't been conscious of it, until it has been pointed out, for I'm far from being a hollow woman, but pondering and now realizing what is in fact, my vanity, I suppose I am ostentatious in my appearance and vain in more ways than I realized. I mean, my pictures folder on my computer’s desktop is brimming with images of myself, and I don't even enjoy taking or posing for pictures! I plaster un-obscured images of myself on this very blog, as well as on my MySpace profile. I am conscious of my appearance, and sneak glimpses in hand-held compact mirrors at work and in the staff microwave. I've been caught in the ladies room, on more than a few occassions leaning towards the mirror or turned around staring at my behind. UsuallyI turn on the faucet and start washing my hands, to make it look innocent, as my startled glance met the the knowing smirk of whoever burst into the bathroom. When I wore my Beaujolais colored lipstick to work the other day, people definitely took notice… someone commenting, “Where’re you going? You have on special lipstick. For who?” I blew off the comment and probing question, simply answering that I was trying out a new color for Fall, which I was. So yes, I suppose I am vain. I make this admission sheepishly however, my face flushing hot from my diffidence. I blogged about vanity before… not coming to grips with my own... not head on, anyway, merely talking about toiletries and various beauty products on the market. It seems the older I get, the more cognizant and analytical I am when looking in the mirror. I stretch my forehead, to see if there’re any visible wrinkles or lines forming yet. I lean forward, the tip of my nose meeting the mirror, to see if my pores are gaping, I smile and release it, to see whether laugh lines'll form beside my lips, like an Etch-a-Sketch drawing. I turn from side to side, to see if I'll find dark circles or if any crow’s feet are traipsing along the sides. I slather on lipgloss, even if I don’t need to… to do so is almost comforting. I step back, to make sure the span of my ample hips, thighs, and behind haven't spread anymore. When I walk past buildings (the Gold Building especially... Hartford, CT area residents know what I'm talking about), I glance at my reflection quickly, to make sure the hems of my pants fall to my shoes just-so and aren't clinging to my ankles.

I’m out of control...


BeautyinBaltimore said...

Coffee, I am going through the same thing. Whenever there are mirrors around, I am constanly checking myself. I hate the idea of developing wrinkles. I think I will be wrinkle free except for a couple of fine lines around my mouth. The most important thing is that we continue to take care of our skin now while we are young.I look at my father and he has held up preety good. He has never been a drinker or smoker, my mother is okay, but she has never been big on beauty products.

Mrs. David Lee Roth said...

Oh I feel you. I hate to admit it, but I am quite vain as well. I can't tell you how many times a day I mess with my hair, powder my nose, reapply lipstick and gloss. I'm always checking out my reflection in surfaces too. I tell myself it's better than not caring, and going around in jeans and sweats.

Anonymous said...

So, we're vain. So?

We're indoctrinated from the time our mothers started dressing us up to believe that the major portion of our worth as humans is tied into how we appear to others.

So what do our mothers expect, that this wouldn't eventually sink in? So how does our vanity some how end up being our fault?