I Don’t Need You To Tell Me I’m Pretty

Matt Fong
Matt Fong

“You’re so pretty!”
“Your hair looks so pretty.”
“You look so pretty in that picture you Instagramed.”

We always read comments like that on our friend’s recently uploaded selfies. Maybe we even make our own comments like that. I know I have.

But what is “pretty?”

I Googled the term and got:

attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful or handsome.
make pretty or attractive.
“she’ll be all prettied up and ready to go in an hour”
an attractive thing, typically a pleasing but unnecessary accessory.

I couldn’t have said it better myself; good work Google.

We get so worried about being pretty. It actually consumes some of our lives. Always making sure our makeup is done before leaving the house and our hair is pin straight. We ask for approval from our roommates and friends before wearing outfits out on the weekends. We buy whitening strips to make sure our teeth look pearly white. We go spray tanning because we find being pale unattractive. We won’t let our friends post a picture we think we look “ugly” in on social media.

But why?

Who decided that is how we should look?

The media? Men? Celebrities?

Whichever you think it is, the constant is that we are always being shown advertisements and commercials with models. There are billboards and magazines with the “hottest trends.” Magazine covers flaunt the headlines basically screaming in our faces ‘this is how you should look’ with the “most beautiful women of the year.” You might claim you’re not influenced by ads, but you are in some way or another. You see them and that is really all it takes. If you hate or love something, you’re still taking it in, even if it’s only for a second.

It’s time we stop trying to fit into society’s idea of “pretty” because like the definition stated it is an unnecessary accessory.

Boys don’t tell me I’m pretty and that’s okay. I can’t recall the last time someone of the opposite sex looked at me and told me I was pretty, and frankly, I don’t want them to.
Because I can tell you the last time guys have told me I was a good person, even a great person. I can tell you the last time a guy looked me in the eyes and told me I’m going to make a difference, that I have a good heart. That I work hard, am a good friend and have a good sense of humor. One even told me I was the best person he knows.

That’s what’s important. Not being pretty. I would rather be all those things than be pretty.

I don’t need people to validate my looks; I know what I look like. I know I would look better if I worked out more and ate healthier. I know I would look nicer if I did my hair every time before I went out and put more work into my outfit than trying not to wear the same flannel I did the day before. There are plenty of things I could put into making myself “prettier,” but there is so much more to life than being “pretty.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about your appearance. I just want to emphasize you are so much more than just your looks. Embrace your other qualities because that is who you are.

I also don’t want to surround myself around people who judge me based on my looks. If you only determined the people you want in your life based upon looks you’re probably not, definitely not someone I’d want to be around anyways. You’re also missing out on some great people, who you might not define as “pretty enough” if you’re too shallow to look past a person’s appearance.

I hope if I have a daughter in the future that she won’t be worried about if boys think she’s pretty. I’ll remind her every once in a while that she is beautiful, but there are so many more things in life other than appearances.

Words empower people, so tell women they’re pretty smart, and they’re pretty kind, and they’re pretty strong.

Don’t just tell them they’re pretty.

Tell them they’re making a difference and that they can do anything they put their mind to.

So screw society’s idea of being “pretty,” because what I find beautiful you might find ugly, and that is okay.

That’s what makes everyone unique and keeps the world interesting and amazing.
So, next time you give someone a compliment, pay more attention to them than just their appearance because they are way more than that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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