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“Vanity capital” is the new metric for narcissism, and analysts say its value worldwide is greater than Germany’s GDP


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Vanity purchases are specifically to showcase status:

The authors define “vanity capital” in terms that sound like Gordon Gekko and Abraham Maslow got together to deliver a self-help seminar: It’s “the pursuit of, and the accumulation of, attributes and accessories to augment self-confidence by enhancing one’s appearance and prestige. It is self-actualization through self-improvement and self-focus.”

On top of that, the process of separating vanity from non-vanity purchases is a rather subjective one. Some of the goods and services categorized as vanity capital seem fair enough: jewelry, art, a private jet, or basically anything you’d see on Rich Kids of Instagram.

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