What It’s Like To Grow Up Pretty

Shutterstock / 2M media
Shutterstock / 2M media

“But you’re so beautiful” is something I have heard at least hundreds of times in my life. In reality, what’s so great about that? Society often puts pretty people up on a pedestal and let me tell you, it’s exhausting. Sometimes I think it’s a blessing, but mostly I find it to be a curse that I am condemned to for the rest of my life. Especially because I could count on one hand how many times I have looked in the mirror and been able to perceive myself the way others do. Maybe the reason I don’t see it is because of some deep-rooted psychological complexity that developed when I was a child. Or maybe it’s from hearing, “But you’re so beautiful” a hundred times too many.

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “Oh well it’s because so and so is good looking”, you’re probably right. People who can catch an eye without even trying receive and excel far more easily than the average Joe. All through school, teachers were far more polite/lenient; clerks in stores add in extra discounts and/or free stuff, servers in restaurants will often “forget” that last coffee on the bill, and on and on. When I was younger I used to think people were just always extremely polite. But now that I’m older, I know that look in people’s eyes when speaking to me all too well. And that look doesn’t mean there are bad intentions, for the most part. The look that I see is comparable to what happens when you see something pleasant/attractive like a sunset or a tiny puppy.

Although it must sound nice, I can say with confidence that the average perception of aesthetically gifted people’s lives is a far cry from reality. Everyone always without fail stares at you, no matter whom you’re with or where you are. Always. Random people will certainly approach to strike up a conversation or make suggestive comments. And 4/5 times it is creepy as well as uncomfortable every time, even if it is just a compliment. Being hollered at as soon as you start walking down the street and groped in crowded places is all too familiar. But after all, “You’re a pretty girl so what do you expect” is something that is frequently reaching my ears as an “acceptable” explanation.

I can’t even begin to say how many times I’ve been called expletives because I avoided eye contact, denied an invitation, or only said a few words to someone who has overstepped their boundaries. And aside from daily social anxiety from such things, newly acquainted contemporaries are always shocked that some as “pretty” as I could ever have a brain. The second a conversation becomes more in-depth and I dare say something even slightly profound, the other participants are taken aback. But sometimes being too pretty can make others question who you are. As if you aren’t capable of being a nice and honest person with a genuine personality. It’s like before they get to know you, you’re automatically a massive liar and, excuse my French: a raging bitch.

All in all I am the type of person that is shy, reserved, and dislikes confrontation as well as being the center of attention. Having your business and natural demeanor constantly being prodded and under a microscope is anything but “pretty.” So the next time you see someone who catches your eye, clear all your initial thoughts and realize for five seconds that they are indeed a real person exactly like you. Because hearing “You’re so beautiful” isn’t as glamorous as one may think. TC mark

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