If you notice these 13 behaviors, you’re dealing with someone who’s obsessed with their image

We all like to look good, at least I know I do. 

But let’s be honest:

Some people take it way too far. They become so obsessed with their appearance, style and vanity that their every move is a calculated pose.

It’s like they think life itself is a catwalk and they’re the star.

This level of vanity can be quite bizarre if you come across it, but it certainly exists, particularly in elitist social circles and strata of society where image rises to the fore.

Let’s take a look at the top behaviors which indicate an image-obsessed person. 

1) They’re addicted to mirrors

Those who are image-obsessed can be found constantly checking their reflection or appearance in mirrors or reflective surfaces.

We’ve all done this now and then, but for these folks it reaches the level of a constant activity at every opportunity they have. 

It’s not just mirrors, either. 

“Other popular places to take a peek include shop windows, car wing mirrors and even, for one-in-ten of the more technologically-minded, their smart phone screens,” notes Tom Goodenough.

2) They’re always at a spa or salon

The image-obsessed spend excessive time and money on grooming, beauty treatments, and cosmetic procedures.

They can be found at spas and salons many times throughout the week and may even allow their career and personal relationships to suffer in order to get their appointments in. 

They are obsessed with their image and nothing stops them.

3) They have a long and specific beauty routine

Having a strict and rigid beauty routine that takes up a significant amount of their time each day.

From skin and hair to nails, perfuming and clothing preparation, they spend hours in their room preparing for a simple night out with friends or the next day’s wardrobe. 

Ironically, much of the overkill on skin care and similar beauty routines actually harms the skin and beauty instead of helping it. 

As Amelia Bell explains:

“While single-ingredient options such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide were designed to make evidence-based ingredients more accessible to the likes of you and me, DIY skincare layering – using multiple single-ingredient formulas – can ultimately reduce effectiveness.”

4) They never met a filter they don’t like 

Filters can be cool and fun, and all of us who have played with them on social media or Photoshop know they can also be useful and interesting. 

But those who get obsessed with their image become completely fixated on filters. 

They spend hours on them, frequently posting edited or filtered photos on social media to portray a perfect image.

5) They’re laser-focused on their physical flaws (and other people’s flaws)

Being overly concerned about their physical flaws or imperfections is a hallmark of those who are too concerned with their image. 

The smallest mole or ear aberration has them up at night. They can’t get over an imperfection and often go as far as to consider plastic surgery or fall into depression over flaws in their appearance.

As Nicholas Landers notes from his own painful experiences, this obsession with flaws can even be a symptom of dysmorphia and psychological illness:

“My unhealthy obsession with beauty probably goes back to when I was told I was not enough, regarding my physical appearance…

“Ugliness is not a natural phenomenon but a set of unnatural beliefs about the value — not the image — of others.”

6) The subject of appearance is always on their tongue

Appearance can be an interesting topic, but it’s far from the only topic. 

For those who become obsessed with their own image, however, it’s pretty much all they care about. 

You can find them talking excessively about their appearance at almost any time you see them, or seeking validation for their looks from others.

7) They drop hints and references to designers and brands all the time

Name dropping is generally a sign of deep insecurity, and it’s no different with brand name dropping. 

Those who are image obsessed often make frequent references to their designer clothing, accessories, or material possessions.

“Yeah, these Giuliano Galiano boots are pretty unique, I got them a couple months ago.”

“Balmain is OK, but lately I’m getting super into Lanvin and Philipp Plein.”

Those who’ve fallen into name dropping know just how insecure you have to be to start doing it.

“I soon found myself falling into an embarrassing pattern. Intimidated and eager to establish some kind of connection, I’d resort to name-dropping. 

But in so doing, I inadvertently revealed my own insecurities—exactly what I hoped to disguise,” recounts Leah Fessler.

8) They actively avoid situations that could be messy or bad for their image

All sorts of situations in life can get messy:

A crowded county fair in the fall, an outdoor game of pickup baseball, a hike by the river on a mountain:

Even if this could be a good chance to show off some really cool new hiking styles and their “outdoorsy look,” the vain person becomes flighty. 

They seek to avoid any situation where they feel their appearance might be compromised.

9) They don’t go in public without being styled and fully ready

This relates to the previous point in that those who are quite vain are very hesitant to do anything “on the fly.”

They are extremely non-spontaneous, because every situation requires extensive preparation and image consulting. 

They are completely unwilling to leave the house without full makeup or styled hair, or without their outfit fully picked out and just right. 

They are obsessed with their own image to the extent of social paralysis. 

10) They’re obsessed with body shaping and weight loss

Those who become very image obsessed often put excessive emphasis on weight loss, dieting, or body shaping.

They get so concerned with their body weight and their diet that they become a bore to talk to and actually give you anxiety with the way they obsess about body image. 

They are sadly victims of a Western-centric obsession with thinness. 

Writing about the current dangerous trend of people taking Osempic to slim down rapidly, Tess Bredesen notes that, “what we have learned (or rather, confirmed) through this latest wave of weight loss drugs is that our society continues to prioritize thinness over actual health.”

11) They seek out compliments on their appearance

The vain individual seeks constant reassurance or compliments about their appearance.

In one way or another, their every second move is to get somebody to say or indicate how hot or handsome they are. 

It can become exhausting spending time with such a person, because the world is their private fashion show:

They just want to be seen as attractive by anyone and everyone. It’s all about image. 

12) They’re obsessed with their social media image and persona

Being preoccupied with maintaining a certain social media image or persona is very typical of the vain individual

They carefully curate an image on social media and stick to it religiously, uploading new stories and photos on a regular basis to keep building the “myth.”

Everything has to be perfect; they are becoming their own perfect self, and the whole world needs to clap and leave likes. 

13) Their appearance is more important to them than other areas of their life

It’s hard for some to believe, but there are people who become so obsessed with their appearance that they put it over everything else. 

They put it over other important aspects of their life, such as relationships and personal development.

What matters is how they look, and they’ll absolutely go for a manicure over time out with friends or visiting their mom at the old folks home. 

Terry Robson puts it well:

“When your vanity extends to the point however, where you are totally obsessed with yourself to the extent of seeing others as things to be used for your own gains, then you have entered an unhealthy psychological place (and incidentally are probably ready for a career in politics).”

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