In U.S. Narcissistic Rankings, California Cities Clean Up

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shutterstock_321285263 Plastic surgery via Shutterstock

Blonde hair. Big boobs. And the perfect tan. Where is it in America that you'd find the highest concentration of the self-obsessed?

In the final round of Name That Narcissistic Region, if you guessed Orange County, CA you re the winner. (Now, feel free to go get yourself a week's worth of Botox injections.)

And if the first state to immediately come to mind wasn't California which produced seven of the top 10 finishers go get fitted for a dunce cap.

In a somewhat-playful/somewhat-skewering attempt to shine a spotlight on self-adoration, the real estate blog Trulia ranked "America's Top 10 Vain Cities" (it's there, just scroll down) in the United States, as measured by the number of tanning salons, beauty salons and plastic surgery offices per 10,000 households.

This data were aggregated to create a Pride Index." Orange County took the coveted top score of 324, while touting four times the national average of plastic surgery offices within the region, and twice as many tanning and beauty salons.

Really? What happened to Hollywood?

The best it, and the entire City of Angels, could do was third. (OK, well, a Bronze medal, to match skin tones so that's somewhat fitting.) San Francisco came in at No. 2. So interestingly, a region traditionally known for it's art, architecture and cuisine trumped another that's driven by night life and shallow celebrity culture.

Here s Trulia s list of the top 10 most vain geographic areas:

  1. Orange County, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Los Angeles, CA
  4. San Diego, CA
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Austin, TX
  7. Reno, NV
  8. Salt Lake City, UT
  9. Oakland, CA
  10. Sacramento, CA

As for the least narcissistic regions, give it up for Claremont/Lebanon, NH-VT; Tuscaloosa, AL; and Huntington, WV.

Now some might argue that Trulia s measurements are too restrictive. In 2014, Time.com released a similar, global poll where narcissism was measured by the number of selfies per capita. In the The Selfiest Cities in the World poll, the only U.S. city to crack the top 10 was New York coming in at No. 2 with an impressive 202 selfies per 100,000 social media users.

Ok, yuks aside, let's take a look at the health implications of some of these metrics.

Nail Salons: Though typically not a danger to consumers, research has shown that cosmetologists who work full days in these salons may be exposed to high concentrations of a mixture of volatile organic compounds. Proper air ventilation, closing product packages, and selecting safer products can all help to lessen these dangers to workers.

Tanning Salons: As we've written in the past, tanning salons are a bad idea, even as recently as last month when we said that their link to melanoma skin cancer "was particularly strong for women who had (1) begun tanning at younger ages, and (2) had more frequent tanning sessions."

Moreover, epidemiological studies have shown that exposure in sunbeds increases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers, with further data documenting the links between artificial UV tanning and melanoma. Clearly, it's better to skip the "fake bake" and opt for sunscreen instead even if it means sporting a lighter complexion.

Camera "Selfies": Although they seem harmless, the National Institutes of Health points to data suggesting that "self-image related social media activities" aka selfies "may contribute to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating." Research has shown an inverse relationship between number of selfies and degree of body dissatisfaction, particularly in young girls.

So, while Trulia's vanity list might conjure up comical images of those with an air-headed preoccupation with prettying one's self, it's pretty reasonable to note that self-obsession, left unchecked, can have adverse health implications.