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Don’t Ever Call Her ‘Pretty’

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Eli DeFaria

Pretty is not a bad word. But for women like me, pretty is more of an insult than a compliment.

Pretty is a word used by people (especially men) who see you only for your looks. Pretty is a word used by those who can’t think of any other word to describe you either because of their lack of vocabulary or because that’s just how they see you – pretty. Your pretty face, pretty eyes, pretty mouth, pretty nose, pretty body. Ughhhh. Please. Don’t let them call you pretty.

Let me tell you why.

You deserve so much more than being called pretty. You were meant to light up the world and make a difference. How dare they call you pretty? Don’t ever let anyone simplify you to being just pretty. You are so much more. Trust me, you are so much more.

You do not deserve to walk on the streets under the scorching heat of the sun, fighting for free education and human rights, just to be called pretty. You do not deserve to work your ass off through college, get your Masters Degree or PhD, take up law or go through med school and be called pretty. You do not deserve to advocate for gender equality and become part of campaigns upending sexism and racism and be called pretty.

You do not deserve to love someone with all your heart, put up with all his crap and finally have the courage to walk away from that unhealthy relationship, just so you’d be called pretty. You do not deserve to write poetry, read novels, look at the night sky and see more than just stars, feel the enthusiasm of learning new things and be free to do anything you want, just to be called pretty. You do not deserve to sacrifice so much and be able to compromise so many things to make something work, just so you’d be called pretty. You do not deserve to voice out your thoughts and be able to move people with your words and be called pretty. You do not deserve to share compassion, joy, peace, harmony, faith and love (because trust me, the world needs more of that) and be called pretty. Most of all, you do not deserve to brighten someone’s day with your smile, make a positive impact in society, invest your talents and character in the workforce, be able to find time for you family, friends and loved ones and still be able to worship and serve God wholeheartedly, and be called just pretty.

Listen to me. You were not born to be pretty. You were not meant to be pretty. You were meant to become a catalyst of change, an inspiration, somebody’s light. You were meant to be on fire, be passionately crazy, be bold, be brave. You were meant to change someone’s life.

There’s more to you than just a pretty face. Let them see your beautiful mind, your beautiful heart, your beautiful soul.

To women like you, pretty is seriously an understatement. Women, like you, are just far too strong, far too brave, far too powerful to be called pretty. If you meet a woman like yourself, don’t call her pretty. Because she deserves to be called so much more. You deserve to be called so much more.

So let people call you uniquely amazing. Let them call you immeasurably talented. Let them call you undeniably courageous. Let them call you irrevocably awesome. Let them call you inevitably intelligent. Let them call you irresistibly beautiful. But never let them call you pretty, just pretty. TC mark

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Cut yourself some slack. One of the biggest regrets most people have about their 20s is that they didn’t enjoy them more. And I’m not talking about “buy more expensive dinners, take another trip to Thailand” type of enjoyment. I mean having the ability to take a deep breath and sip coffee in the morning knowing that you have done, and are doing, your best.

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