Is Skincare Just About Vanity?

Willems_Woman_with_mirrorHave you ever heard from anyone that worrying about your skin or your appearance makes you a vain person? Let’s be honest here: have you ever directed those feelings towards someone you saw buying a lot of skincare products or admiring her reflection in the mirror? Or let’s be REALLY honest: have you ever directed those feelings towards yourself?

Why do people associate skincare and pursuit of beauty with with vanity?

I’ve?thought about this a lot over my whole life, and it’s something that I’ve written about both here, as well as in my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself. I don’t think about it just in terms of skincare and beauty–I also include the concepts of self-care and self-love in the group. My position on the subject is?something that I write about often, and recently spoke about in my interview with Dr. Trevor Cates when I was a guest on her podcast–and I really think it’s time to mention it again because I feel?it’s a message that all people–especially women–need to hear.

Let’s begin with an excerpt from the chapter 4 of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself called “Will People Think I’m Vain?”

“So many people believe that having a regular skincare regimen and/or wearing makeup is vain. I had a hard time with this myself because I began wearing a lot of makeup at a very young age to cover my acne. There seems to be an insidious misconception that wanting to be beautiful means you are a shallow or superficial person. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Love-your-skin-love-yourself-bookNo one wonders why someone looking at a beautiful, perfect flower would marvel at its perfection. What about admiring a beautiful work of art in a museum or being captivated by the music of the symphony? You don’t ever hear people say, ?Wow, she is so vain for appreciating all of that beauty.? Why can’t we want and enjoy the beauty of our own physical bodies? We are one of the first people we see every day when we look in the mirror. Why shouldn’t we want the first images we see to be beautiful? Why shouldn’t we want one of the last images we see before going to bed to be beautiful as well??

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel beautiful. Human beings are naturally drawn to that which is beautiful?if that wasn?t true, no one would have dedicated their lives to creating epic, timeless works of art, music, drama, or architecture. We wouldn’t decorate our homes, offices, or yards with ornaments and pictures or paintings. Why is it so horrible to want to decorate yourself? Many cultures around the world have long histories of adornment rituals commemorating special moments or rites of passage in a woman?s life. Their histories are much older than our nation?s Puritanical values.”

Now I’d like you to jump over to Dr. Cates’ website and watch her?podcast, and think about whether skincare is just about vanity or whether there’s (in my opinion) a better, more “valid” reason to care about your appearance.

Click HERE to watch the podcast.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 5.37.35 PMNow I’d love to hear from you–what do you think about this subject? What thoughts have gone through your head when you see someone focusing a lot of time and attention on her skin? More importantly, what feelings do you have about the time and energy you choose (or choose not) to spend on your own skin?

Please leave a comment with your thoughts below.

By the way, you can pick up a copy of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself HERE if you liked the excerpt and want to learn more!

*Image 1 credit:?Florent Joseph Marie Willems [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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