You are the girl who has easy to manage hair. You are naturally petite. You had an eating disorder once, but it was short-lived. You are still small even though you eat more at dinner than your friends. You have decent curves. You love a challenge. You care about your education and knowing things and being a part of this world. You are white. In most respects you have it made. What could you possibly complain about?
But your eyes are sad and you wish you knew why. Maybe it’s because a guy will come up to you at a party, tell you you’re beautiful then walk away and hit on another girl. Maybe because you wish you were funnier, but your family’s dark sarcasm comes out and those ugly, cruel competitive jokes make you cringe.
For the girls who know that they are beautiful and who see the beauty in other people even when they don’t see it in themselves, I’m here with you. I too know that I am conventionally attractive, know that I am privileged.
To the girl who doesn’t procrastinate because she doesn’t like it. When your friends tell you that oh things must just come easily to you and you think to yourself “No they don’t come easily to me. I’ve been sad I’ve been down. I’ve learned and I’m practicing keeping myself out of those places everyday, by moving towards my dream and taking care of my body and spirit because I think 50 years from now I’m going to thank myself for it.” It’s not that I’m perfect, it’s not that I think I’m better than you. Maybe I’m just selfish for focusing on my own wellbeing.
What I’ve learned growing up in a house a moody introverted women is that there are a lot of varieties of self-deprecation. I want none of it. So perhaps now I seem flawless to others. But that’s only because I’ve seen the dark the ugly sides of not taking care of yourself as a woman and loving yourself.
We, the pretty girls, are a part of the silent majority. We are a part of the group that is told we shouldn’t have a voice because our voice is already represented everywhere. That we shouldn’t feel left out because the images shown in the media look just like us. But when you are that woman, you notice not what is in the media, but what you see in real life. You see that most of the people around you do not look like the people in the media, hence most people do not look like you. And this too makes you feel lonely. Just like the girls who aren’t told they are beautiful, you don’t feel beautiful because you don’t think you look like others. You feel sad when you can’t share your clothes with your friends because you’re too small.
So this is the ode to the girls who see that beauty means so much more than what is on the outside, I am there with you. I see that a full life is beyond the looks, beyond the quantity of cell phone numbers that are given to you on a Friday night. I am the same. I am there with you.