“It shall even be as when a hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite” (Is. 29:8).
Vanity is a sickness. It brings with it emptiness and slavery. How do I look? What do they think of me? How can I be what they want me to be? These questions become like the whip of a slave driver always pushing harder and harder. Life was not given to us to please the superficial whims of the others. Beauty was not created to be sold, objectified, or abused.
Freedom comes when we discover the questions that truly define beauty: Who am I? God, what do you see when you look at me? God, am I truly created in your image and likeness? Discovering our value not in what we have, or what we look like, but rather in who we are, is the path towards authentic happiness.
All this requires a decision. We must make a choice: vanity or authenticity, emptiness or fullness, slavery or freedom?