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 ...

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