BOH-vuh-riz-uhm , noun;
1. an exaggerated, especially glamorized, estimate of oneself; conceit.
Bovarism can really be the opposite of attractive. It’s a fine line, having confidence but not thinking too highly of oneself. I think about this often while working in South Tampa. My coworker has a term for people who become bovaristic after moving to this area (“They’ve been South Tampa-ed.”)
A customer came in recently and announced, “Well I wouldn’t wear that fanny pack. Makes sense since I live in Tampa…we’re the most vain city in America.” We looked at her blankly because she was talking in a singsong way with an abnormal amount of inflection. She was a Brittany Murphy lookalike who said more in ten minutes than I had in ten hours. She made us look up the article. Sure enough, Men’s Health magazine named Tampa the vainest.
There are two types of young guy customers, in my opinion. One type of customer is preparing for adventure. He’s going to hike the AT or he’s off to explore the Alps in Switzerland. He is humble and wears faded Wranglers and a Patagonia fleece that he’s most likely owned for ten years. He’s really cool but he wouldn’t describe himself as such.
The other type is the Southern Tide buying guy who spends $78 on a polo to go with the light red shorts and leather sandals. He has blue mirrored Costa sunglasses that are made for fishing, but he does not fish. He doesn’t make eye contact when I say hello, as he can’t pull himself away from the Southern Tide coozies. He thinks he looks mighty fine. This makes him look smarmy. Not all fellas donned in Southern Tide suffer from bovarism, of course! But I will say, those that think they are really something become not that same very instant.