V is for Vanity

From the Oxford Dictionary

Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements: e.g. ‘it flattered his vanity to think I was in love with him’

1529

 

He certainly had a way with words didn’t he?

Are we living in the Age of Vanity?

An age where people ‘share their status’ – through a variety of media.

People seem much keener to tell the world that they are shopping in Harrods than they are to let us know that they have gone to the corner shop to buy milk.

Judging by Facebook, the world is a place where everyone is fabulously wealthy, taking exotic holidays and drinking only the finest Champagne. And their children? Oh don’t get me started on that…

“Vanity asks the question: Is it popular?”

I am a writer. I want people to read my words. Ultimately, I want people to pay to read my words. Vanity is an essential driver.

In the new world of publishing, I am expected to ‘build my following’, to attract followers on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram. I am not even sure that I understand Instagram! (Nevertheless – I can be found on all of those channels and more, feel free to follow me.) I am expected to persuade you good people to subscribe to my blog.

In the age of vanity, the more popular that I can demonstrate I am, the better support I would get from a publisher.

This is just business sense I guess; but it does seem a little backwards.

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2 thoughts on “V is for Vanity

  1. Do you think you are vain, Stuart? I guess even wanting to look nice to go out is vanity, there aren’t many of us that do not wish for that at least. There is a lot of talk about calling young girls ‘beautiful’ and admiring their clothes (don’t you look lovely?) instead of admiring an accomplishment (what are you reading right now?). The trouble is admiring the beautiful is ingrained in every cell of our being, the sky, the grass, the birds, the flowers, we admire them because we perceive them as beautiful, and beauty usually denotes health, which is what we naturally look for in a partner, and that is ingrained in every cell of our being also. Accomplishment is admired all the time, so ‘boasting’ or ‘vanity’ on FB is also rather natural. Tricky isn’t it. Some people are better at making their accomplishment interesting or funny. L ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    1. At times my ego is boundless. Other times a little humility can appear. Thus far, I have avoided the “Just had a big sandwich” post – but give me time!

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