Apparently I spend waaaay too much time on the Internet because I’m always happening upon something distracting. Today it was a quiz called “Are You Vain?” And turns out there are nearly a dozen different quizzes wanting to assess the same thing. Apparently vanity is a major problem in this culture. I mean, I looked and could not find a dozen quizzes on “Do You Need a Breath Mint?” or “Are You Just a Little Bit Psycho?” and I personally run into a lot more people with those problems. But vanity. Hmm.
So of course I had to take the quiz. And then another. And another. And the one clear thing to emerge from the results is that the authors of the quizzes have odd ideas about what constitutes vanity. Questions about whether you buy skin care products or like to have a new outfit when you go out on the weekend seem to have more to do with a person’s disposable income than it does vanity. Just as inquiring whether a person talks all the time might have more to do with the fact that they’re a crashing bore.
Turns out different people have different ideas of what constitutes vanity. I once went snorkeling with friends on vacation. Afterwards I took two minutes to pull a comb through my hair and put some gunk in it so it wouldn’t look like I’d been dragged out of a dolphin’s…blowhole. A friend told me that was vain. Really?
So then we had a long discussion about this. One thought that having your nails done was vain. Is it less vain if you do them yourself? Isn’t it vain, then, to have someone cut your hair for you? In order to avoid vanity should we pay the hairdresser to make our hair look as awful as possible? Should we buy clothes that don’t flatter us in order to avoid vanity?
Some of the quiz questions suggested that wearing make up was vain. I always figured it was thoughtful. I mean, this is me taking some pains so the sight of me does not sear people’s retinas. You’d think I’d get credit for being considerate.
One quiz had lots of questions about whether one belongs to a gym. Isn’t staying in shape healthy? Does membership really constitute vanity? Another seemed to think if you didn’t buy your shampoo from a discount store then that was vain. I don’t know about the authors of these quizzes, but I *fear* my hairdresser. I go to great lengths to keep her happy and that includes purchasing her products. I’m pretty sure that makes me a wimp, but vain? I don’t buy it.
Another question asked: After your shower, does it take you more than twenty minutes to get ready? I was flabbergasted. I can actually get dressed, blow dry my hair, put on makeup and do my hair in twenty-two minutes. I thought that was lightning like speed. My husband agrees. I suspect the author of that quiz must bear a startling resemblance to a ninja turtle. If she’s bald and just has to slip into a shell everyday, sure she can get ready in a few minutes. But twenty minutes does not count as ‘primping’ in my book.
Here’s one of the quizzes, just in case you feel compelled to find out how vain you are:
My score: 38% vain. Okay, so you’re slightly vain from time to time, but you’re not superficial at all. You are realistic. You know that looks matter. You just try to make them matter less.
Don’t patronize me, Quizmaster. And you’re way off base. I’m just on the treadmill of life trying desperately to avoid tripping over various body parts and scaring small children when I go out of the house.
So how vain are you? What’s your definition of vanity? How far do you/would you go to look better?