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Psychology | Vanity




I’ve had a suggestion for a psychology blog about vanity from Poundland Princess. She does seem to have a fetish for  cosmetics! But is it vanity? Vanity is considered in the Christian religion to be one of the seven deadly sins and associated with excessive pride.


Having pride in one’s appearance isn’t excessive, but I have seen people use cosmetics to an excess!


Narcissism is a form of self adulation or self love and vanity is associated with narcissism. People who are narcissistic tend to lack empathy with other people and can be spiteful. Narcissism is also associated with psychopathic tendencies. It seems that psychopaths have no empathy  for others and that is why they can be spiteful and cruel and not experience any guilt.

Do women who wear excessive make up tend to be more spiteful and narcissistic? I think there is a tendency towards narcissism, but it doesn’t always apply. People with psychopathic tendencies do rise to positions of power over others. It is reasonable then to look at people’s appearances and look to see if they are obsessive about their appearance. Do you know anyone who likes to stand out and  is obsessive about their appearance.

We all like to fit in most of the time, it’s a tribal instinct. We try to fit in and not rock the boat. In fact anyone that looks different tends to get picked on in a group. We do want to stand out when we need to be noticed though, such as when we want to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Young people tend to dress differently if they are looking for a mate. Appearance is very important to young people as they play the dating game. If a married man starts to dress differently, this is often a reason for his wife to get suspicious.

The way we look does affect the way we feel. Women often feel more confident and in control when they wear high heels. They feel sexier, when they wear sexy underwear, even though no one can see it.

Feeling confident

I happen to have an appointment today and I will take more care of my appearance. I’m not really thinking of impressing anyone. I don’t want to stand out. I want to feel confident and clothes can help us feel confident. I could go for a very formal look, but that could have a negative effect. Most people I’ll meet will be dressed informally and so smart casual seems to be the right choice. My choice today will also be influenced by the weather. I don’t usually use an umbrella, but if it rains today; I will. I don’t want my clothes to get wet. Is this being obsessive about my appearance or just reasonable? If I didn’t care at all and went without any regard for my appearance, that could be seen as eccentric or even arrogant. I have seen some film stars turn up for premieres looking like down and outs, just because they can get away with it. They also dress outrageously to attract attention. Women will have pink hair, see through dresses and display narcissistic behaviour at these ceremonies and people will applaud it. We do tend to like the vain to entertain us. We expect them to be a little crazy. Many famous people with narcissistic tendencies and behaviour are very lonely though. They appear vain and self absorbed. Who would want them as a close friend?

So it all comes down to excess. If you are excessively concerned with your appearance, then you might have a problem. If you use cosmetics and dress well to feel confident and to appear acceptable, then  that is normal behaviour.

Lashes or mascara?

A woman’s choice: lashes or mascara? Mascara is quite subtle usually and enhances the appearance. Very long false eyelashes, combined with a lot of make-up and sexy dress could be seen as excessive or even obsessive. Should we judge people on their appearance? We have been doing it for thousands of years. Are we likely to stop now?

What do you think? What do you prefer? Lashes or mascara? Please comment.

5 responses

  1. I own a lot of cosmetics and nail polish andhave spent a small fortune over the last year or so on beauty items so logically you’d think I wear a lot of the stuff but the turth is I hardly ever have time to wear it, I would rather have an extra hours sleep ona morning rather than apply make up and do my hair..
    I dont like having all eyes on me so I tend to dress down a lot, jeans and t shirt are my usual clothes but if I’m going somewhere nice I make en effort as I know everyone else will be dressed up. I dont accept compliments very good as I get embarassed. My friends tell me I’m pretty and that I should do myself up more but I think I am average and I prefer being that way.

    26, November 2012 at 4:06 pm

    • Hi,

      It sounds like you’re airly well balanced when it comes to wearing make-up. But why do you buy some much? Maybe because you’re good at writing about it? We all need to be good at something! My sister says the stuff at Aldi is good. I have the shampoo and shower gel.

      I went to hospital, the doctor said how well I looked! That was the clothes! Then I had to tell him I hadn’t been feeling so well. I had an injection and a blood test to see why I’m feeling grotty. I’m not too bad, I made it back in the rain through the rush hour traffic!

      Think about accessories when you dress up. I got attention today, because of the nice hat and scarf! I think it was that anyway…

      27, November 2012 at 12:36 am

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