Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is it vanity or sharing ourselves warts and all?

Patti at Not Yet Dead Style posted today about vanity and personal photography. Tammy at Silverstyle posted about vanity a while back.  I have been thinking about the same thing for the past week or so. I read several blogs discussing positive body image. One from Medicinal Marzipan, State of the Union, Body Positive Blogs, had some interesting thoughts. Several statements made on Medicinal Marzipan really bothered me and have been in the back of my mind for a while.  (Please read the article as there is much more than what I am writing about, and it is a much bigger subject than I choose to address here.)

"Body positive photo blogs are not inherently detrimental, but comparing yourself to others is."
 I totally agree with this statement. We all have our flaws and many of us think that others are judging us on them.  Maybe they are, but then again, maybe they aren't.  Patti said she worried about her hair. I think her hair is beautiful.  What she may see as less than perfect, I see as a very lovely part of her.  

The other statement made on Medicinal Marzipan follows:

 "Posting pictures of yourself online IS inherently narcissistic, but you don't have to let it make you crazy."
There is a lot more to the article, but the statement above really got to me. & Am I really so vain and seeking attention and validation?  I don't think so, but this subject has been on my mind almost daily. Before I ever started my blog, I spent a lot of time reading blogs trying to decide if I wanted to participate. I read blogs from women who are very young, young, middle aged, 50+, plus-sized, ethnic, and from different countries around the world.  I saw women that I admired and some who really inspired me with their life's journeys. Genuine, caring women who were sharing themselves with many others.

Sure, I try to post pictures that don't make me look like a dork. (I can get some pretty strange expressions on my face sometimes.) I don't erase any wrinkles or change myself to look "thinner".  I do adjust color and crop backyard junk out of the photo. ---Let me interrupt for a funny story. Today I went to my Mother's house and she asked me to show her my blog, since she is not really good on the computer. When I called it up, on her monitor, I looked really thin! Who knew that a computer monitor setting could make me look thinner?

I haven't arrived at the answer as to whether or not it is vanity to post photos of me in what I am wearing. I wonder though, is it vain for a model to have her picture taken for a magazine or walk a fashion runway? I like to think that what I am trying to do is to help other women realize that they are not alone with their body or age issues and hopefully share some ideas about accessorizing.

Everyone I have encountered via my blog or their blogs has been wonderful. I feel like a part of a very wonderful community of admirable women.

By the way, the reason there is no photo of me today is that I did not change from my exercise clothes. Like Pam at over50feeling40, I have been dealing with the heat for far too long and I just could not get up the energy to dress up today.


  1. I can remember wrestling with this question last fall. Perhaps if one is young and thin there IS a bit of vanity in posting photos of oneself online, BUT if one is our age and posting because of the beginnings of doubt about our appearance, I fail to see the narcissism in that. I began to blog for community...and have found that.

    It seems to me that given your prior health problems, you have something very special to contribute to the conversation.

  2. It's funny because I never, EVER thought I would put pictures of myself on my blog. (I didn't even know that "outfit posts" existed when I started!) But when I wanted to write about my favorite outfits, it just didn't work without photos. I did worry that it was weird or vain, but I'm glad I went through with it anyway.

    Terri said it really well -- a lot of it depends on the spirit in which it's done. If you're all like, "Oh, hey, there's another hot picture of ME; I look so much better than HER," that's entirely different from participating in a community in which we all try to overcome our self-doubts and support each other.

  3. Good grief - these are pictures of our clothes, not nudes. How interesting that she would label the pictures as indicative of narcissism. Narcissism is a mental illness and for people with mental illness, there is no remorse. So all this writing is for people who won't see themselves as having any problem. Life is too short to worry about articles like this, since the fact that you worry at all indicates that you don't have the problem being addressed. I hate manufactured guilt.

  4. I totally agree with: the spirit of the post and the poster is the key. I too have found community in the blog world. There hasn't been that old experience of trying to "out-do" each other in terms of our wardrobes/appearance. We had enough of that early in life, now let's support and enjoy each other.

    Thanks for your thoughtful post.

  5. Blogging has many different aspects. From mood boards to body image support (and demeaning). I think trying to find the good supportive blogs is the best thing you can do. I believe there is a strong force of fashion blogger trying to lift everyone up. It doesn't matter if you're this or that, one way or another, there are people out there who want to hear your story, be your friend and support your journey. There are always haters, but the great thing is you don't have to participate in that.