Friday, April 24, 2009

Vanity Is My Favorite Sin

Let's face it: Writing a blog is a pretty vain thing to do. The idea that you gather together your thoughts, musings, rants, beliefs and photographs and then post them on the web for other people to read definitely involves a fair degree of self-love. There are also those who monetize, adding advertisements to make a little money (or a lot) on the side. Vanity mixed in with greed equals two mortal sins for the price of one.

I will be the first to admit that I am indeed vain (hence, the blog...) Another way my vanity has always shown is with the self-portraits. Ever since I got my first camera at 15 I've been taking them. My first digital camera I bought when I was 30 and, for the past 5 years my computer has gradually been filling up with pictures I took of myself. I have it programmed so that the screen saver is a slide show. Inevitably the slide show goes like this: Photograph of me, me, me, a tree, a street in Berlin, me, me and Mia, Lilly, the pacific ocean, Noe Valley, me, me, me......

I have noticed in pictures taken of me by other people that I look a)fatter and b)less intense than I do in my self-portraits. The logical conclusion would of course be that I AM fatter and less intense than I imagine, but I prefer to believe that only I can take real pictures of myself. Silliness aside, there is also a somewhat serious side to the portrait snapping. I've always admired the photographer Cindy Sherman. Although I would never go as far as to dress up in costume and then take photographs of myself, I can appreciate the idea of using your own body as a prop. In front of the camera you're always on stage. You can be anyone you want.

The following are six self-portraits, one for each year from the age of 30 to my current ripe old age of 35.


Of course, the fair thing to do would be to add another picture taken by someone else for comparison but, no, I'd rather not. After all, this is my blog where, as should be, my alter-ego always trumps the everyday. ;)

4 comments:

Samantha said...

I appreciate your candor. I am a Christian and lately I've been dealing with that point about "self-love" you mentioned. I've been convicted about it you could say and I've been trying to focus my blog more on Christ (who is my ultimate joy and hope) and not on myself. I think we all struggle with this and social networking and blogging has definitely assisted in bringing out this sin. Thanks again!

Jenn said...

I would like to know the person who isn't vain :)

I LOVE self portraits! Personally I think I look less fat when I take them because I am holding my head up, visibly erasing my double chin.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Frida kahlo, Van Gogh, Rembrandt - just three people who made a LOT of self portraits. Cindy Sherman is one of my favorite artists.

Schaufensterbabe said...

Jen, I agree with you on the instant self-portrait weight loss method! And Mark, you are so right. Anyone who does self-portraits is in good artistic company indeed!

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