We are taught from a young age that beauty is on the inside and that one should not judge a book my its cover. This is a value I have always held in high regard and have viewed vanity and celebrity/model culture with negative connotations. Fairytales like Snow White demonstrate some of the dangers of vanity. The Queen asks the magical mirror, "mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?". When the mirror responds that Snow White is fairer than the Queen, she is jealous, and orders huntsmen to take Snow White into the woods to be killed.
This is not to say that I never recognise the importance of appearance. I am one of many girls who loves wearing a new outfit, spending time making herself up and feeling superficially pretty. However, if asked what I believed to be helpful or important for real, true happiness in life, I would have responded with ideas such as having a strong, supportive family and community, good health, enjoyable or interesting work, enough money so as not to struggle etc. etc. Clothing, make up and a nice hairdo would never have even been considered. Yet, spending time standing by a mirror and applying make up, although it causes me pain, is a necessity. It is logically inexplicable, to me, how brushing my hair and putting on mascara provides me power, confidence and hope. Why should I feel "more myself" (i.e. more healthy) when I have some globular black liquid painted on my eyes?
Beauty is and always was on the inside, and how people view others should not be defined by appearance. Yet, I am now of the opinion that pampering can remarkably alter one's attitude not only to their superficial self, but to their inner self. A beautiful person is iridescent, but nevertheless, a pinch of pink powder and a little liner, can help them begin to realise it.