In Defense of Vanity
Why Not Caring About Your Appearance Is Overrated
This is the trap I've found myself in since freshmen year of high school when, convinced I could never be as pretty as the pretty girls, I decided that not caring about my appearance was my best chance at being seen at all. It's not that I didn't care what I looked like (not at all), but I wanted to be seen as someone who didn't need to care. (For this same reason, I've always erred on the side of being underdressed rather than overdressed.)
People, especially other women, seem to be able to spot "the woman who has tried" as easily as a dog can smell fear. When her straightened hair begins to frizz or her foundation becomes dry and cakey, she's revealed as an impostor. And because she has tried, she opens herself up to judgment. She has said, "How I look is important," which then gives others permission to critique her.
It's for this reason that I appreciate someone like Kim Kardashian, who obviously doesn't conceal the effort she has put into her appearance, and instead embraces it. Her heavily made-up face feels honest and, in a way, more vulnerable than the actress who looks as if she hasn't given much thought to her appearance, when the truth is that she gets regular doses of "vitamin" injections to improve her complexion, eats one meal every other day and has a colorist on call to maintain her perfectly sun-streaked hair.
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