Here’s something I just realized: Vanity and self-loathing are two sides of the same coin.
That sounds odd, because vanity is an excessive interest or concern with your own assets—an inordinate attention to your looks, talents, etc. And self-loathing means you can’t admit to yourself that you have any assets. Hard to imagine a vain person hating himself—and hard to imagine someone who hates himself ever succumbing to vanity. But I think it’s actually extremely common for these two to go together. This relationship is something I think of as “the Matrix/Disney Heresy.”