Anyway, to get back to my main point, I grew up without any sense of personal vanity- that I looked good and needed to look good. Vanity implies that I know I look good. By extension, I realize that I get attention and people look at me! By further corollary, it means that I will work hard to look good because I take pride in doing so. So in a way, being vain does mean being proud of one’s looks/ body etc. This vanity/pride spurs us on to look good. To work hard at looking good. It is an innate sense of self-worth. And it keeps us on our toes.
In today’s age of skin-deep beauty, it is futile to deny that the more attractive among us are privileged. Call it shallow- I used to, and look at me now! I have come to believe that it is important to look good to feel good. Not just for the external world, but because being attractive makes you feel better about yourself. It is an added validation in this world ridden by self-doubt. Maybe your sense of self-worth comes from being a great genius, or your intellectual capacities or whatever rocks your boat. But for me, and most mere mortals like me, how we look is a big contributing factor.
I think being vain helps you take better care of yourself. Love yourself a little more. And we all need extra love- especially from our own selves.
Image Source: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/m/mirror_mirror.asp