Does wanting to be stylish equal vanity?
This is something I hear pop up often when talking about style or fashion, or anything “frivolous” —
“Oh I am not that vain”
“Oh I am not into appearances”
“I only dress for function”
…All said like a badge of honour!
To which I give this look:
..because I don’t think that being into style, appearances and so on, is at all “vain”.
I think it is just taking care of yourself and caring about how you appear to the rest of the world.
It’s not everything, for sure.
I mean, I regularly send Little Bun to school in ripped shirts and pants because he simply will not wear anything that is clean and pressed because he wants certain shirts that have been worn to death and I cannot rip off his body unless by force or wily trickery.
Do people think I gave birth to a Little Hobo? Probably.
Do they think I’m some sort of DeadBeat Mother who doesn’t care about what her child looks like? Most definitely.
Do I care? Not really.
I can’t do much about it now. He’s a little boy. Little boys want holes in their shirts apparently, but cannot stand it if it is dirty or stained.
The way I will see it, he’ll get into clothes and stuff as he gets older and peer pressure comes down on him (or not, I hope!)…
But for the rest of us adults, I am wondering why we think it is a terrible thing to care about yourself, or that it is vain.
Is vanity such a bad thing?
I appreciate it when I see a properly put together outfit on a man or a woman. I notice little details like cuffs of the pants, a polished shoe, a perfectly done chignon bun, or properly coiffed hair.
I NOTICE this stuff.
I appreciate it. I don’t always say so, but if you see some strange woman staring at you, it is not because you look bad, it is probably that you look incredible and I am amazed. I’m trying to absorb every single detail and memorize it, and try to muster up some courage to ask you where you bought these items.
So, is it so bad that you care about yourself?
Getting your nails done – men and women alike – having your calluses scrubbed, your nails clipped, and taking proper care of your hair, face, skin, and clothes.
This stuff matters. It’s all part of your package of who you present to the world.
It is your visual representation where people know what you are allllll about without even having to say hello to you.
I am not even talking about being “corporate” or “proper” in this self-presentation.
I see someone covered in tattoos with piercings?
I think – this one likes really great art (if the art is good that is), and obviously doesn’t care about what general society thinks about tattoos (still a taboo on that, I am afraid).
I see a mother covered in tattoos? I think — she is open minded, liberal, and obviously and probably very cool to talk to because she doesn’t give AF what anyone thinks.
If I saw someone not caring about themselves, I wonder just how much care they would take with whatever I am planning on purchasing from them – services for instance.
It may not necessarily be true that someone who looks like a slob is terrible at organizing or keeping my books, but I am not likely to think — oh this person is on the ball!
In the same vein, someone who is properly attired and neat as a pin, is not necessarily someone who is great at their jobs, or organized in their home. I have seen perfectly dressed people, with homes that hoarders would be proud of.
Taking care of yourself, bottom line, is not something to be ashamed of.
Self-care, and knowing that you look your best for yourself, your spouse/partner, your family, and how you present yourself, is important.
People make assumptions about you within the first 10 seconds of meeting you. I get a pretty good feel about a person when I first meet them, and I am wrong about 5% of the time – some of how they present themselves, definitely plays into it.
I try my best to NOT use that as my only judgement of them and to give them a few more chances, but first impressions really last, and they colour the rest of how people see how you perform.