What is vanity?

Vanity, from the Latin vanĭtas, is the quality of vain (empty, hollow, or lacking in reality, substance, or solidity). This adjective is linked to insubstantial, arrogance, conceit and puffiness.

Nor should we forget that this term that concerns us is used, in the same way, to refer to all that set of things that exist in our world and that have an expiration date.

Vanity is a manifestation of pride and arrogance. The vain person feels superior to others, whether from an intellectual or physical point of view. The vain person does not hesitate to highlight his supposed ability whenever he can, belittling other people.

In this sense, vanity hides the feeling of inferiority and the desire to be accepted by the other. By displaying his virtues, the vain person tries to show that he is no less than anyone else (which he really feels) and expects the applause and admiration of those around him. For Christian theology, vanity makes man feel that he does not need God. It is a kind of self-idolatry: the vain person rejects God because he has himself. Vanity, in fact, is one of the deadly sins (since it generates other sins). Specifically, we can establish that seven are the deadly sins, the vices that Christianity stipulates should be avoided because they are contrary to the morals of this religion: lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, envy, anger and the aforementioned vanity or pride. More exactly, we can say that the latter, like the rest of the aforementioned sins, is associated with a very specific demon. In this case, it is related to Lucifer, which is the name given to the fallen angel. It is about that angel who had great beauty and wonderful wisdom, but who, moved by his pride, was taken to hell, where he became Satan. A good way to understand what vanity is is found in the myth of Narcissus. The best-known version of this story indicates that Narcissus was a young man in love with himself. One day, seeing her beautiful face reflected in a lake, he is absorbed and enraptured, unable to separate himself from the image. Finally Narcissus dies (by killing himself, drowning or failing to separate from his reflection, depending on the version) and a beautiful flower grows on the spot. In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that there is currently a Madrid publication entitled “Vanidad”. It is a magazine that addresses the most diverse subjects, aimed almost exclusively at the female audience. Thus, we ended up writing articles on topics such as fashion, beauty, culture in general, gastronomy or famous people. Likewise, this publication was so well received that it also has its own radio station and television channel.

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