If I were to put a mirror right next your face while I was talking to you, 99.999999% of the time I would be looking at my reflection rather than you. Humans are seduced by their own image, and we all secretly love watching ourselves. If we were to watch a video of me and you eating cheese, I would be watching me, and you would be watching you, and the mouse we were hanging out with would be watching the cheese. And then we would all make out because it was that kind of movie.
No one wants to admit they are vain even when we all engage in vain behavior. But the truth is that the human condition is to be obsessed with yourself, and vanity is a manifestation of that. The problem with our current paradigm is that there are too many outlets to express our vanity. Back in the day, the only way to catch a glimpse of yourself would be if you went swimming on a very still day. But now not only are their mirrors everywhere you turn, there are all these technological outlets for exhibitionism and narcissism.
Facebook, twitter, instagram, all provoke our vanity in a way that is too persuasive to ignore. Look at me do this, look at me do that, look at me doing this and that.
But the counter balance to vanity is insecurity. If you are going to put yourself out there to be praised, you are also putting yourself out there to be criticized, or even worse… ignored. If I posted a picture of myself that nobody liked – that would be worse than if someone said something rude. To not be seen is worse than being judged harshly.
And the more preoccupied we are with ourselves, the more we critique ourselves as well. If I only saw my image once ever 9 years when I finally got to use the clean spoon first because my father Dwagfur and brother Shtupslnary always took priority, I would think I looked pretty damn good. You know, underneath the dirt and scurvy. But the more we expose ourselves to ourselves, the easier it is to notice every imperfection. If every day of my life I look at my stupid face, then even eventually I am going to notice my flaws. All 7,893 of them. Not that I have counted or anything because that would be insane.
The reason why I feel like vanity is an inherent trait rather than socialized is because The Munch has always been fascinated by her own image. Ever since she was a baby she loved looking at pictures and seeing videos of herself. I think it is natural to be enthralled by our own beings and to want to see what everyone else sees. But I don’t want The Munch to acquire the inevitable emotional baggage and self-doubt when she starts looking in the mirror and judging what she sees.
Here is my strategy to avoid this!! I think it’s working!!