I don’t know about you, but I have never outright stated that I look good. I don’t actually think I have ever heard anyone say it either. I was thinking about this concept last week and I felt inspired to write about it. It hit me that thinking you look good and being happy with the way you look is seen as a negative in todays society. This confuses me as we are constantly being told to “love yourself” and “be comfortable in your own skin” – this is simply not the case.
I love browsing Instagram, there are countless amounts of selfies. However, scroll through the comments and there is usually a handful of people using in particular, the word “vain”. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but waking up and thinking, “hey, I look good today”, is not a bad thing. I’ve done it myself, if I feel good, I will take a selfie and I’ll post it on my Instagram feed. I mean, what is so wrong with this? I feel like there has been a miscommunication of the word “vain” where it is often used instead of “self-esteem”. Someone with high self-esteem is not a bad person and should not be attacked because of it.
It saddens me as most of the culprits for this attitude tend to also be female. There is no explanation for the act of bringing down another woman simply because they are confident, shouldn’t we all be able to feel this way? Liking the way you look is not vain and nor is it arrogant – we should be encouraging and rewarding this behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all be self-obsessed, but we should be able to voice that we feel and look good.
I think that being shot down for having body image confidence in turn results in a lot of women feeling it is “normal” or “expected” to highlight flaws. Why is it most commonly accepted to hate ourselves more than we love ourselves? I am not only talking about women either, I am sure men suffer the same social expectations – however, I am not equipped with the experience to comment from a male perspective.
I am not saying looks are everything, nor am I encouraging the idea that we should all stare into the mirror in awe. I am just wondering whether the line between vanity and self-esteem has been blurred. Looks most certainly aren’t everything, but being happy in our skin is not a sin. It is hard to remember that photos of people online are only a snapshot, a split second of a whole life. Just because an individual feels confident on one day, does not mean they will feel confident the next. Allow people to be happy with the way they look and celebrate what makes them feel good.
I would love to see more encouragement of self-love, we should all be able to accept ourselves and voice this. I don’t think it is wrongful to take photos of ourselves and share this with others, I personally love scrolling through Instagram and liking photos from those I follow. The word vain needs to be clarified because being happy with the way you look is a positive, not a negative.
Let me know if you have any thoughts on the concept of being “vain” – I would love to get a discussion going! If you don’t agree, why? what are your opinions on people who like the way they look?