Vanity. As defined in (where else?) the dictionary: "excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements." I believe we are definitely living in a culture that perpetuates self-obsession and an overemphasis on image. Think of those that are the most rewarded in our culture, who we see on those magazine covers in the checkout aisle. They are all, most often, the "pretty" people.
When we see them, yup, it makes us reflect on how we measure up, and we often become fixated on that. Just look at Facebook. Statuses about what we are doing, what our kids are doing, sharing articles, information about our lives that we think you should -- literally -- "Like."
And let's not forget about those photos. How many of us try to find pictures of our kids (or ourselves) that are the "prettiest" ones? I admit it, I do. I don't want my husband posting a photo of me at my not-so-hottest. Are some of these statuses regular, just letting folks know what is going on? Sure, but c'mon, we all want folks to "like" what we say, to validate what we put out there, to agree your kids are awesome...it goes back to us, to ourselves.
The crazy part? It is all in our heads. We have control over these self-image thoughts (the good, the bad, the over-inflated)...but how many of us continue those internal convos, that are often unhealthy and never lead to anywhere positive?
I read somewhere a good test on this whole thing about self-image is examining how you take a compliment. Do you deflect it? Make excuses, like "Oh, this old thing?" when someone says that sweater is pretty. Or do you go on and on about how you made the wardrobe choice, carrying on well beyond the intended nicety. Me? I often deflect, make an excuse like it was a big bargain or something like that. Hmm, what does that say about my self-image, huh? Maybe I need to try, the next time, to just say thank you, feel good and move on.
How is your self-image? Do you take compliments well? Do you feel our society is image-obsessed? Does it make you feel good when you get many Likes on a Facebook photo or status?