Vanity or Confidence…

Illustration Friday‘s prompt for creating this week is vanity. It got me to pondering whether confidence is sometimes mistaken for vanity.

Of course, I know the definition of vanity, but there have been times when I’ve mistaken someone for being vain, and after getting to know them, I realized that they had a confidence of self, that was enviable. Which brings me to my next pondering…do we see vanity because we envy the confidence of an individual?

The lesson learned for me, is not to judge, since it is only when I get to know the person, do I begin to see the true self, and there have been times, when I would have missed out on knowing a wonderfully confident and loving individual.

(Image: “Da Bronx” – 9″x12″ Mixed Media/Paper)

I captured this beauty sitting on a stoop in the Bronx. My first thought was “what a vain young woman.” ¬†She exuded confidence, beauty, which many took as being vain. I glad I got to know her, she had a mighty story, where vanity had no play in it.

How do you know when you’re dealing with vanity or confidence?

How do you know the difference? Have you ever mistaken one for the other?

Does culture play a role in your viewpoint of vanity of another?

Have you ever dismiss a vain individual without getting to know them?

Love to hear what you think!

Peace to you and yours.

  1. I love the drawing Indigene.

    I think we can mistake confidence for vanity, if so we aren't looking close enough at the person. Judging is something we are all guilty of, to quick too do and much of the time this comes from our own insecurity. Confident women, I believe have often been condemned for being so for reasons that are mostly cultural .

    Vanity in my opinion is the belief in an image that doesn't exist.

    They are a list of labels I think most woman are all too familiar with. If someone truly is vain, it's coming from a place of deep insecurity. Our society is preoccupied with the business of promoting ithe belief in an image and we will always fall short of that standard, even though many of us continue to try. It is self perpetuating and no one experiences the reality of who they are through image, which is illusion.

    Rather than dismissing and judging the vanity of the individual ,I choose empathy. Or maybe Mr. T said it best , "pity the foo' " LOL


    Comment by catherine — November 20, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  2. Thanks Catherine, I choose empathy, although in the moment at times when confronted with what we perceive as vanity, it can be a challenge at least! :) Now, who doesn't want to be a part of the "A" Team?! lol!

    Comment by indigene1 — November 20, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  3. SO many good questions. I agree that it is difficult to distinguish between vanity and confidence…or style, for that matter. You bring up such good points!! Your portrait exudes so many traits–especially, I'd say, confidence!! (…and I love your title, "Da Bronx") :)

    Comment by E. R. Stanton — November 20, 2011 @ 11:44 am

  4. Thanks Elizabeth, I think if we ask ourselves the questions, maybe we can pause long enough to give others and ourselves a chance at better choices. As far as credit for the portrait, Thank you, but I have to say, I only captured a minuscule of the depth of her amazing personality. Who can do justice to a real person, but the ultimate creator? :) Thanks so much again!

    Comment by indigene1 — November 20, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  5. I love the image. You've really captured the look of confidence in her eyes.__And interesting to think about too – the line between vanity and confidence. It does affect how we react to others, as well as how others react to us! Oooh, I need to think about that some more…

    Comment by Abby — November 20, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  6. Hi Abby, thank you. The eyes are always the soul of an individual, if you can get a little of it, it makes a portrait stand out! Vanity and confidence is always going to be an ongoing conversation, as long as there are people. :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 20, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  7. Mea culpa, mea culpa…. I think I've dismissed a vain individual without getting to know them a few times. Vanity if really something 'too much' for me. I will remember your kind words next time!

    Comment by Mindful Drawing — November 20, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

  8. Paula, I've done it too! It's just that I let my guard down and allowed a couple of "vain" people in my life and was positively the richer for it, which made me reexamine how I look at my perception. As I get older, I'd like to think, I'm learning something and making it applicable to my real life, not just theory. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Comment by indigene1 — November 20, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

  9. We've probably all done it, and probably been accused of it too — which doesn't mean that we shouldn't all try better in the future. I wish everyone learned to have more empathy because there's no way we can know what's going on in someone else's mind. Love your thoughts and questions, and love her eyes in the portrait. They lead to pondering.

    Comment by Linda Hensley — November 20, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  10. Thanks for stopping by Linda! Pondering is what I do best and I think you do it exceptionally well! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 21, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  11. Culture can definitely play a role. Very interesting post.

    Comment by Sharon Wagner — November 21, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  12. Thanks Sharon! I don't think I knew culture played such a role, until I broaden my horizons some…

    Comment by indigene1 — November 21, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  13. I dismiss everyone as vain without getting to know them.

    Terrific drawing. Very cool perspective.

    Comment by joshpincusiscrying — November 21, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  14. Why thank you Mr. Pincus! :) Somehow, I knew you'd like the perspective…lol!

    Comment by indigene1 — November 21, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  15. i had a friend, who saw vanity and pride in someone who i admired as having a healthy self esteem, something my friend was lacking. where she saw pride and bragging, I saw a certain confidence and happiness i knew i was lacking
    its good to know what you're good at, what your strengths are, its normal to have plans and goals and dreams and to want to share them with others
    but sometimes we cant get past first impressions
    i know i have that trouble as well sometimes,
    amazing drawing

    Comment by Amanda Mills — November 21, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  16. Hey Amanda,
    I was once told that when you dislike a person, you should look within yourself, because it is something about that person that you want, lack or envy. I have seen it happen many times, for me and for others. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 22, 2011 @ 1:27 am

  17. Actually, vanity is not something I really notice in others (or at least I don't think of it as vanity) but one does sometimes dismiss people based on looks, because "we know" that a certain way of dressing implies a certain kind of personality and interests – not necessarily in a bad way, more like "she's not my type". But twice in my life (so far!) I've instinctively disliked a person and I couldn't understand why – they weren't bad people (as far as I know) and still everything they said got on my nerves. I still often think about this but I've still to understand why (this may have something to do with my own "vanity" to be able to get along with people …) oi, this is turning into a self psychology crash course! ;)

    Comment by nancy — November 24, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  18. Hey Nancy,

    I think instincts are different, that whether they are giving off a vanity vibe. I've learned to trust my instincts, they have gotten me out of some scary situations! I think for me it isn't vanity that tries my nerves, there are certain voices, that when I hear them I cringe! Which sometimes makes it hard for me to connect. I'm very sensitive to sound, and very high pitch nasally voices do something to me! I then have to move away from the voice, it's painful to me. Hmm…now where did that come from? :) :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 25, 2011 @ 4:00 am

  19. … I got so caught up in my own story I forgot to comment on your post! What I wanted to say was that whatever story this girl had to tell, you've certainly managed to give her personality – she really does look like a "proper" person. It is odd, though, not to see any colour in this one, you're usually so vibrant in your paintings! :)

    Comment by nancy — November 24, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  20. Lol! That's fine, I like reading your comments! :) Yes, I usually do the figurative parts in B/W with the clothes and surroundings in color. But there was something about the city that day, which was very Gotham City like; I just wanted to concentrate on her, and no color I had could capture it! She smoldered in B/W!

    Comment by indigene1 — November 25, 2011 @ 4:04 am

  21. You've just been nominated for a Liebster Award!

    Comment by elenacaravela — November 25, 2011 @ 10:56 am

  22. Thanks so much, Elena. I will post to my blow shortly! You're wonderful! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 25, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  23. I love this image, I see nothing but a strong and confident woman. Your comments are interesting. While I do judge (no matter how hard I try not to), vanity is something I haven't paid much attention to in others. I don't think I've met that many vain people and when I do – i tend to find it all quite funny and insignificant.

    Comment by Dina — November 25, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

  24. Thanks, Dina for stopping by and your comments! I like how you handle vain people! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — November 25, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  25. Wow, what a great portrait! I love the downward perspective and the upward-gazing eyes.

    Aah, I admire confidence in others. I guess you have to have a little vanity to have confidence. And when that confidence is mixed with the ability to laugh at yourself, well, that's a recipe for greatness.

    Comment by bella sinclair — December 4, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  26. Thanks so much for visiting, Bella! Laughing at oneself is so essential, it's one of my goals! :) :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 4, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

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