Not Merely Pretty

Every once in a while, I feel like this needs to be re-visited. Our society gets hung up way too much on an impossible standard of beauty. No matter how physically beautiful someone is, there’s always some flaw to be found or someone more beautiful. That bar is a unicorn – never to be seen or touched.

I was always a bit of an awkward child. I started off life as a tom boy:

That’s me in the front in the blue t-shirt. Obviously, I preferred blue jeans and t-shirts to frilly, dressy things much to Mom’s chagrin. Try as she might, I just wasn’t a girly girl. As I got older, things got a bit more awkward. In addition to my fiery red hair and freckles, I got glasses, then I got braces. By the time I was in 6th grade, I was the epitome of nerdiness. My hair was totally out of control and I couldn’t put together clothes to save my life. I finally got contacts in 7th grade, but I was always a bit jealous of my classmates who always seemed to have beautiful hair that behaved and they always seemed to know what to wear. Despite all of that, I just couldn’t make myself sit for hours to curl and tame my hair or do all the other crazy beauty things girls did to make themselves pretty. I got a little better at it in high school, but not much. I didn’t have time to mess with all that beauty craziness even though I sometimes tried to make it happen. I never felt I could quite pull it off, though. There was always that little awkward red-headed girl with glasses and braces lurking in the back of my mind, reminding me of what I truly looked like.

These days, I feel like I’ve gotten better about taming my hair and putting on makeup. I’m better at putting clothes together, but I still prefer blue jeans. I love a cute dress if for no other reason, it makes putting myself together a lot easier. Just a quick flip over my head and bam! Instant complete outfit. Throw some mascara and lipstick on so I don’t completely look like death and I’m ready to go.

I own my goofiness, my hair, my glasses, and my freckles. Why? Because they’re really not important. I prefer spending my time enjoying my life, being with my friends who love on me for who I am and I love them back. I prefer reading. I prefer doing all the things that have absolutely nothing to do with being merely pretty. No one has the right to set the bar for being pretty except for you and in reality, you should just throw the damn thing out. A bar can’t possibly begin to measure all the different factors inside of you that make you truly pretty.

Pretty by Katie Makkai

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