Who's more vain nowadays?

When you think about the concept of being vain, where does your mind go? I mean, entirely aside from that Carly Simon song or that scene in only the world’s best film, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It’s pretty likely that, those examples aside, your mind flicks to the stereotype of women who love their image, so much so that the whole world knows it.

Women have pretty much always been branded as vain and, in one way or another, we are. I’m not for a second suggesting that this is in some way innate, but society has conditioned us, as women, to place a value on our looks in a way that simply is not expected of men.

Thanks to women’s magazines, say, we all have a part of our body that we like and we all, similarly, have parts of our body that those very same magazines have taught us how to conceal or “flatter” (world’s worst word, right there). But can it be said that women are the only vain people in this world? Most definitely not.

It stands to reason that men are just as vain as women, if not more. Society has shifted in the past few decades to focus more on male aesthetics – and platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat have forced men to think more and more about their own image and likeness. But let’s examine these two sides just a little bit more…

Image courtesy of  Cushyspa.com

Image courtesy of Cushyspa.com

Women

Let’s start with the gals, not only because they’re the gender I know more about (Lord knows I am struggling with the men), but because we’re also the ones who have carried this stereotype along with us for some time now.

I’ve really struggled with the concept of vanity over the past years, particularly as it pertains to and relates to body positivity. My logical brain feels that I would be so much happier if I could just eschew the beauty standards set upon me by society, while my illogical brain (some call it the heart) feels like: I have to live in this society and in this culture, so I may as well just shape up.

And while, as little as five years ago, I would have been hugely anti things like cosmetic surgery, I’m kind of warming up to the idea – view cosmetic procedures you can have done with minimal recovery time and which aren’t hugely invasive, that may, for some of us, improve the way we feel about ourselves and our everyday lives.

Long gone are the days of The Swan; these days, cosmetic procedure is not focused on finding out what you hate about yourself but, largely, it’s about helping you to find a way to love yourself once more.

Men

Guys are definitely becoming more conscious about their looks. Just like Samantha Jones once said: first come the girls, then the gays… I place a lot of blame at the feet of the stunning LGBTQ men I know, who don’t even spare a thought for the rest of us mere mortals when they’re posting their thirsty AF topless selfies to Insta. (You know who you are.)

Just like women, men are now feeling more pressure to improve their looks. According to studies, the number of men opting for cosmetic surgery has jumped by 30% since the year 2000 – and, whatever the reason (let’s just say Instagram, honestly that’s the main thing I can think of), 8% of all cosmetic procedures are now performed on men.

The main target areas are the chest and the torso, whereas with women, it’s more likely to be facial surgeries. Guys are also putting so much more effort into their sense of style, with some spending a fortune to make sure that they have designer clothes. More so than with women, it’s really important to men to have their branded clothes!

This is a contributed post.