Thursday, May 14, 2009

Swagger Saves the Soul: Thoughts on Vanity

"Vanity: n. excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit: Failure to be elected was a great blow to his vanity"

I love vanity.

Why else would I bother to make a fashion blog if I a) did not like to look good b) hated self-obsession c) did not like 80s pop stars like David Bowie?

Vanity gets a bad rap and is usually the root of every problem your mother has with you. Because of vanity: Joan Rivers' nose looks the way it does. Troy fell (think Aphrodite). Models eat tissue paper. Kim Jong Il looks like Elton John. The majority of America is broke. MasterCard is rich. Narcissus drowned.

Yet I have a bone to pick with the latter. Narcissus, like many human beings, was just a self-obsessed individual who enjoyed thinking about himself. (I mean, a lot of who he was, well.... was looking good.) I mean, sure... the "Gods punished him" for being proud and unfeeling, so they condemn him to looking at himself for a long time, but I don't know how bad of a punishment that could be if you looked as good as Narcissus.

Okay, okay. You caught me. I jest. But seriously. Vanity to me is a form of self-reflection (quite literally in the case of Narcissus). It is a form of self-love that we all deserve to partake in. It is, in essence, a materialized form of introspection. Most of you who know me know that I am sometimes a (painfully) introspective person. I consider vanity as simply another extension of my introspection, manifested in the way I dress. Of course, I do not want to sound like a preteen declaration of "my clothes express myself." Hopefully, my notion of vanity and self-hood is a little more nuanced than that. I guess the only experience I can know truly is my own. Vanity just enriches that experience. Trust me--NARS red lipstick can really add that spice life needs. A pair of vintage pumps can get you places.

Call it vain or proud, but I am totally beyond "my clothes give me confidence to take on the world." Psh. No one could wear my Manolo Blahniks like I do. No one could pull off the things I do with cropped children's leather jackets or JC Penney's mens shirts. Vanity and clothes do not own me. I own them.

SO this brings me to my VANITY OF THE DAY:

In fact, vanity is a positive thing. If it weren't for vanity, Narcissus would not have existed for this company,, to sell t-shirts with his body on them--thus catering to our own sense of vanity (well... perhaps not mine). Here is the Vanity of the Day:
While this is not a status quo fashion review for me, I could not help but put it as my first post. This is not fashion. This is capitalism at its best. This is making cold hard cash off of people who want to have fun with their appearance. Something we call personal style. Notice lowercase s. Not Style. style. There is nothing about these t-shirts that I have some witty advice on how to pair it with skinnies and rock it with a cashmere scarf. I'll save that for a YDN article or a later post when I am inspired and go shopping. Some shirts are simply in the twilight zone of clothing choices. They are lost at sea. MIA. POW's in the War on Gauche.


Okay, now you all have a piece of my fashion blogging--a little less about the clothing today. Hope you enjoy. But really now, this blog is dedicated to fashion, style, vanity, beauty, and self-obsession all over the world: i.e. the things that make us human, stick together as a species, and keep us clean--most of the time. If it weren't for these things, hygiene would probably be havin' some hard times....

A note on me: I am a woman of the world (see my other blog). I like a variety of cultures, styles, scents, places, people, things, governments, looks, political systems, religions, tastes, couture lines, shoes, designers, art forms etc. I think all of them can (with a little imagination and a lot of bullshit perhaps) all be related in some way shape or form. For the sake of this blog post, I'll call that relation "vanity" but you can find other reasons I am sure.

So this blog will follow fashion trends all around the world, the internet, and my mind. I like to see how fashion is related to culture, government, ideology, and life. Just like any good Yale student trying to make sense of the world. (Do you hear me chuckling? Please say yes.)

As part of my dedication to fashion around the world (wide web), part of my website has this "Vanity of the Day" (wait for a catchier name for it soon), i.e. the link I posted. Enjoy. Buy a shirt and send it to me.


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