So…I got some bangs. I asked my hair stylist to cut me some bangs because I noticed that my hairline is receding...
Vanity is a bitch, isn’t she? And I don’t mean Vanity, the late Purple Prince’s girlfriend, the singer. She was lovely and purportedly a kind person…and she died…and you shouldn’t say bad things about the deceased. So, no, not her.
I’m talking about Vanity, the seventh deadly sin. THAT Vanity is a bitch. She makes you toil trying to hold onto a beauty that you never really ever had. You are chasing and chasing youth—Vanity does that!
Look at what she does to your Facebook profile picture, for example. You take your best picture and then Vanity drives you to crop and Photoshop and airbrush. You lay on a bunch of filters so that you look like you did when you were twelve years old.
THEN you post it.
And all of your friends and family say—“beautiful!”, “stunning!”, “gorgeous!”
You think they are talking about you, as if they are agreeing that you actually look like that. But they are not admiring you. They are admiring your artwork! That Profile Picture isn’t really for them, though, is it? No, Friend. it’s for you and Vanity. You posted it there so that you and Vanity are happy. Vanity helps you forget all that you had to do to create that vision and you very quickly believe that this is how you actually look.
Yes, Vanity is a bitch. But Aging is a relentless bastard, isn’t he? That asshole never sleeps. Aging and Vanity work together to make you miserable. He does his damage—encouraging you to take part in your own downfall—“Here, eat this cake.” “Drink this wine.” "Oh, let’s lay out in the sun a little longer. You don’t need sunblock! Here—use this metal suntanning reflector!”
And then Vanity has to run behind Aging. “We can fix it! We can fix it!,” Vanity is saying—she and Sephora and that scary woman behind the Neiman Marcus cosmetic counter who has created her own lips where there aren’t any with aggressive swipes of MAC Viva Glam red lipstick.
Pretty soon Vanity makes you take out all of your bathroom mirrors and install new rose-tinted, opaque ones, so that in the morning, you always have a view of yourself that is glowing and smoothly unfocused. You don’t see how Aging has darkened the circles under your eyes ever deeper. You go from your rosy, opaque bathroom mirrors to your Facebook profile picture to keep your positive notion of yourself in tact. When someone requires a picture ID, like the airport TSA officer or that flirty bartender at happy hour, you hand over your driver’s license face down without ever looking at it, don’t you? You don’t need that police-line-up-photo-atrocity to remind you of how you actually look, now do you?
But then you go on vacation. You leave town because you believe you need this break. You are going to turn off your phone and your laptop and power down, escape your crazy life. You get a luxury suite somewhere quiet. The suite has a bowl of fruit and wine waiting at check-in--slippers by the bed. You think—this is going to be great for me, this moment to breathe, to EXHALE, sleep in, eat room service in bed. So you do. You go to bed early—fall asleep with grapes on your chest and the TV on. You wake up late. You get up, slip your feet into the pillowy hotel slippers waiting by the bed and shuffle off to the bathroom. And it’s a luxury bathroom…Your pillowy slippers are a welcome barrier between your feet and the cold Italian marble floor. You look up and there are mirrors EVERYWHERE! On EVERY SIDE. And they are not rosy or opaque. Nope, these are HD mirrors!
And you see your reflection. And you are horrified. “JEEZ LOUISE,” Vanity shrieks! (She actually says “JESUS CHRIST!”, but you gave up using the Lord’s name in vain for Lent…so “JEEZ LOUISE!” she shrieks.)
Aging is snickering in the corner—he pushes that little round magnifying mirror that is anchored to the luxury bathroom wall toward you and you see those deep crags around your eyes and the corners of your mouth. Vanity shrieks again and you both grasp each other, and cower to the floor in the opposite corner. Now you are in a fetal position on the cold luxury Italian marble floor.
You’ve seen the hag!
Vanity is in a panic. She springs into action—“We can fix this. We can fix this!” she is saying as she gathers your cosmetic case and your exercise mat. “We can fix this!”
But you know in that moment that the truth will always find you. Aging will always be one step ahead. And Vanity is just delusional.
Anyway, yeah, so I got some bangs…