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letting go of ‘pretty’

pretty adj. (-tier, -tiest) pleasing, fair or attractive to the eye

Note: When you are describing someone’s appearance, you would normally only use pretty if you were talking about a female, or baby of either sex. You could use handsome if you were describing  a man, or attractive or good looking, both of which can refer to either males or females (2)

Aiming to be pretty is something that I find increasingly disturbing, as the mass amounts of reality TV shows, magazines and popular culture continue to enforce the standards that so many people live by. It’s not just pressures of the mainstream population either. I find myself looking admiringly at nearly all aspects of fashion, media and just people in general, scouting for anything aesthetically pleasing to my untrained fashion eye. And even though I’m not someone overly obsessed with how my hair sits or if what I’m wearing flatters by body type (and by extension what other people think of those choices) I still find myself slightly contemplating my appearance and making alterations based on a hope that the majority of people outside my home will view me as pretty, or at least not hideous. Aside from comfort, this obsession with being pretty has become my first priority.

So the other day I took the bus to the mall, as I usually do, wearing a rub on tattoo of a moustache on my face.  Not necessarily out of character, as I often like to wear a little more of my personality on the outside, but  I really liked this fake tattoo. I got many interesting reactions from people, including elongated stares and a surprisingly limited amount of comments or smiles. My motives were not based on attention (though I thought it might make a few people smile) but rather the constant attempt to put my self out in the world without fear of other people’s comments or thoughts.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about giving up on the socially formed ideals of what constitutes ‘pretty’ and what that will mean for me. It will mean that when I see a magazine, TV or some other sort of socially deemed attractive celebrity, I can rest easy knowing that I can be pretty just the way I am, without the need to imitate any of their ‘beautiful traits’. It will mean that any compliment sent my way will be humbly received and any comment of any other sort will bounce off my new found confidence that I’m pretty just the way I am. It will mean that each morning when I get dressed, I can be happy in all my fluctuating fashion choices that I will look a-okay by the only standards that matter – my own.

I therefore, am happily and proudly letting go of any ideals of ‘pretty’. I will strive to wear as many moustache tattoos as I can handle; be undeterred by passing comments on the fashion choices that I make (particularly regarding piercings, hair cuts and hoodies layered over tutu dresses) and allow myself the freedom to change my look each and every day without a second thought that I might not look pretty to the outside world. I’ve got a life of fashion crime to lead and there’s no room in closets, drawers, shoe rack, bathroom or floor space  for the ‘pretty’ patrol.

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One thought on “letting go of ‘pretty’

  1. Pingback: Riot, Don’t Diet! | Features | Lip Magazine

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