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Blog / Cosmetic Surgery / Face / Vanity versus Narcissism...

Vanity versus Narcissism

September 21st, 2014 Share

“Feel Good”, “Look Good” or “You deserve to look your best”, these are all tag lines that can be said in many different ways.   What is comes down to, is vanity.  However, there is a fine line between healthy vanity and being narcissistic.   It is all about natural beauty and unreal perfection.

I was a mirror baby.  My mom said from the time I was 2 years old, I would sit in front of the mirror and comb my hair.  I still have not changed, so yes, I guess you could say my looks matter to me.   I like to think of it as having health vanity. I have always thought I am pretty but not extraordinary.  I am comfortable in a crowd and as I get older, I do want to maintain my looks.  At this time in my life, maintenance requires Botox and fillers.  But, I am fully prepared move on to surgery.  Nothing extreme, I just do not want the excess hanging skin.

Do you know that according to an article in the Washington Post, it is vanity not health than make people want to lose weight, exercise and quit smoking?  And that vanity is the third biggest motivator for people to make healthy changes in their life.  Healthy changes due to healthy vanity!

So let’s talk about what is healthy vanity and what is narcissism.

A person with healthy vanity has a high-level of self-confidence and is comfortable in their skin. Healthy vanity allows you to be able to see and work with your good and bad points.  Having healthy vanity gives you a realistic and healthy view of yourself and the people that surround you.  A person with healthy vanity sees their reflection in a mirror and knows when they look good and when they need a little help.

People with healthy vanity are our best plastic surgery patients.   They have realistic expectations and realize that there are limitations as to results.   So whether it is a facelift, rhinoplasty, liposuction or a tummy tuck, people with healthy vanity want natural beauty.  People who have healthy vanity still want to look like themselves, just refreshed and youthful.  They want balance and harmony.

Crossing over the thin line is narcissism.  These are the people who are obsessed with their looks and have this innate need to be admired and noticed.  They are ones that are usually overdone, who look too perfect and appear unreal.   Not a hair out of place.   They look extreme, not natural and stand out in a crowd.  Lips that are too big, have oversized cheeks, oversized breast implants, too muscular if male and usually have had multiple nose surgeries or rhinoplasty.   They may suffer from a condition called Body Dysmorphic Syndrome. They often have someone they are trying to look like or emulate. Looking like Barbie and Ken dolls seem to hold a fascination for narcissistic personalities.  Mirrors seem to mesmerize them.   Narcissistic people want guarantees of perfection.  This need can often become the tabloid plastic surgery disaster.

At Visage Clinic in Toronto, Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Marc DuPéré is a combination of scientist and sculptor.  When a patient comes in for a consultation regarding plastic surgery procedures, Dr. DuPéré does not focus on a single area.  For instance, if a patient wants a rhinoplasty or nose job, the shape, width, skin thickness and length of the whole face must be considered.  Ethnicity is part of the equation.  An overly small nose on a broad, round ethnic face will look unreal or done.  Balancing and creating harmony is art.

That being said, when you come into Visage Clinic, whether you have a healthy vanity or you are a closet narcissist, Dr. DuPéré will guide you and suggest the best options for the most natural and beautiful results.    For the closet narcissist, just keep in mind that multiple procedures may be needed to achieve the desired look.

Sometimes, the best procedure for the very narcissistic person is no procedure.  And Dr. DuPéré will be honest about that too.

At Visage Clinic, our goal is to give you the best possible outcome within reason and normalcy.  Healthy vanity and a little narcissism are welcome!

by Joyce Palmer