When reflection, feeling, or whatever other form the subjective consciousness may assume, regards the present as vanity, and thinks itself to be beyond it and wiser, it finds itself in emptiness, and, as it has actuality only in the present, it is vanity throughout. Against the doctrine that the idea is a mere idea, figment or opinion, philosophy preserves the more profound view that nothing is real except the idea.
Vanity is a desire of personal glory, the wish to be appreciated, honoured, and run after, not because of one’s personal qualities, merits, and achievements, but because of one’s individual existence. At best, therefore, it is a frivolous beauty whom it befits.
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.
One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear.
Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man’s last romance.
In the background of all their personal vanity, women themselves have still their impersonal scorn—for “woman”.