June 7, 2015

Pretty Hurts


Everytime I hear the words 'pretty', 'beautiful', or 'gorgeous' I cringe. I always feel like there is a league of 'pretty' (American society's idea of pretty that is) women and I'm not a part of it. Sort of like the picture above. That's not to say that I don't think I'm pretty, I do! I've come a long way to be who I am and I know I'm physically pretty, at least by my own standards. I get it, we all have a different definition of beauty but in general society there is an ideal that I know I don't meet. I'm fat, dark brown skinned, I have kinky hair, and a huge nose by society's standard I am null and void. 

Last week someone said, "I met these girls and they were gorgeous". I imagined thin/average weight, long nearly perfect wavy hair, light brown skinned (closer to fair than not) and they were probably dressed to kill. I know this isn't everyone's idea of beautiful and it shouldn't be. But I've been brainwashed like most people. When the person said "gorgeous" group of girls" I could not imagine a group of girls that look like me. It's weird, I can see the beauty in me but I know most people can't see my beauty on first glance.

I have been brainwashed and it is sometimes hard to get away from it. Certain people won't befriend you if you don't fit "the look" and some guys won't even date you if he thinks his friends or society won't approve. I have an example. 

A friend (Bree) and I discussed this mutual friend (Joe) and his new relationship. Bree introduced Joe to her half-sister (Jessica) a couple months ago. I asked Bree how it was  going between Jessica and Joe and she just shook her head initially. She said that Jessica is a really sweet girl and that she and Joe talked everyday and had a good time together. So I asked, "Okay, so what's the problem?" and she said "Well, Joe likes her but he thinks she's too fat and dark, he doesn't date girls like that...Cause they aren't  attractive and..." I'm assuming at this point Bree noticed the twisted up face I was making and decided to not finish her statement. If she is nice and you two get along well, why can't you date her? 

People say looks don't matter all the time but I have only met two people who truly honor that statement. It's hard dating in this society. I think I have an amazing personality and lots of love to give but people don't see that on first glance, do they? 

A friend of mine asked if I would try online dating, since she's had lots of success with it. I've tried online dating and it just wasn't for me. I'm kind of old fashioned in a sense, why can't I find someone the old fashioned way? Since I am an introvert and my appearance is not super-model-esque the online dating thing is probably my best option. But still I believe my soulmate is a true man who'd see my actions and interactions before anything else.

Pretty hurts because the definition of 'pretty' is always physical. My flesh is beautiful but my soul, heart, and my mind are radiantly gorgeous beyond measure. Pretty hurts because it's something I can't live up to because I'm an unconventional type of beauty. Pretty doesn't have to hurt though. If you truly believe you are good, beautiful, and worthy just being who you are is quite sufficient. Comparisons to 'pretty people' are unnecessary if you love who you are and can see your own beauty, society's definition of 'pretty' doesn't matter! 

I know for a fact that's easier said than done because we place SO much value on the flesh, the physical, and the tangible. The most valuable things in life are the unseen, such as faith, love, empathy, and spirit. I fall victim to feeling depressed about appearance issues all the time but the good days outweigh the bad. Just getting to those good days is the greatest feeling. 

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