EST. 2009

December 13, 2011

That Natural Vanity

A KISS, A FALL. We know it all. Narcissus' story of self adoration has found itself in many different versions: some ending with his accidental death, some by suicide, one of him falling in love with a twin sister, but most prevalent across all, his falling in love with his own reflection.

It's an old moral on vanity. But a theme, which I believe, never fails to be of relevance, especially not in the self-driven culture of today. From "I" being attached to every commercial tech innovation, to "You" gaining infinite seconds of fame on video sharing sites, to "Face" book and "Face" time and various web albums, status updates, blogs, vlogs and all other self-promoting media in between, there's no limit to how much we can build our self image to an audience that defies space and spares time.

It's great to finally be liberated from old norms advocating modesty in appearance and attitude. Where talent or brilliance in the past shone only from the radical or crazy ones, now there are endless outlets and opportunities available to anyone with an internet connection.

Very few are devoid entirely of vanity. Everyone, to some degree, holds in esteem, something about themselves; be it appearance, accomplishment, goodness, irreverence or wealth. Everyone, to some degree, adores their image. Otherwise, nobody would ever be offended.

Vanity is natural. But how do you know when you've crossed over to narcissism?

"To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring is beneath all adult dignity." -Seamus Heaney, Death of a Naturalist 

Narcissus painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio,