Anti-Vanity? Or Über Vanity?

If you take two things away from this, they should be:

  1. Whenever Noah Brier introduces you to someone, put energy behind following up on the introduction
  2. Find a way to meet Pamela Grossman

I recently had the privilege of speaking on a panel moderated by Pamela, Getty Images' Creative Planning Manager.  Pamela began the session with a shorter version of this wonderful presentation on recent visual trends in technology.  I can't encourage you enough to check it out.  As I told her afterwards, I was smitten by what she had so say and how she said it.

I don't think Pamela will mind me saying (as I did on our panel) there was one trend she discussed that I couldn't quite reconcile with what I've seen.  It's what she calls anti-vanity.  Paraphrasing liberally ...

As you look at people's Facebook profile photos you notice how much thought people put into it.  There's a very studied way of creating and choosing these photos.

But we balance this with 'real' moments that aren't beautiful in a traditional sense, but show us in a very real light. 

In other words, we use this juxtaposition to strike a balance.

I don't buy it.  In fact I think we put more thought into the 'real' photos than the staged ones.  I called it 'studied imperfection' - which I'm sure I must have lifted from somewhere else.  I'd say we are at our most vain when trying to portray our 'real' selves.  It's strange, yet makes total sense.  Example below ...


What do you think? Is the trend anti-vanity or is it über vanity?