“Am I vain?”
I knocked on the door, then stepped in with a bright smile and introduced myself. “Hi! I’m Dr. Greer. How can I help you today?” She looked almost embarrassed, ducking her head down as she answered. “I’m interested in Botox. Am I vain for even being here?”
This scenario is so common in my office. Women feel embarrassed for doing something to improve their appearance.
Is vanity even the right word for what they’re feeling?
From the dictionary:
- Vain: having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.
- Vanity: excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
So vain is definitely not the right word for the women who come into my office. After all, these are not women posting selfie after selfie to instagram, or commenting to their friends constantly on how amazing they look. These are primarily busy moms and wives who actually spend very little time thinking about their appearance. And yet somehow they feel embarrassed for taking time and money out to do something to make themselves feel better.
Where did we get the idea that spending time and money on ourselves is wrong?
Why is wanting to look good, and feel good about how you look, something to be embarrassed about? And why is wanting to look good okay in some contexts (e.g. working out) but not in others (e.g. Botox)? Sure, I suppose working out has other benefits that you can hang your motivations on- wanting to be healthy, or lose weight. But would it be a bad thing to work out just because you wanted to look amazing? I certainly don’t think so.
I think we should also stop judging ourselves for getting Botox or filler. If you can afford it (i.e., you’re not literally taking food from your kids mouths to pay your Plastic surgeon), and you’re medically a good candidate, why on earth should wanting to look good be a negative thing? And to continue on that thought, why should should we feel embarrassed about needing a little help? The things women come to see me for are not things they can fix by themselves. A face lift isn’t “cheating”. This isn’t something you can achieve by yourself by working out at the gym or tweaking your diet. I don’t know a woman thins, “am I vain?” every time she gets her hair done at the salon. We should definitely not be embarrassed to get rid of some wrinkles.
Women – be proud of yourselves!
Good for you for taking time out to take care of yourself. You do not need to come last in the family to be a good mom. You are the only person who will make you the first priority. And you SHOULD. You are worth it as a person.
Okay. Getting off my soap box now. Whew!