I spent years calling myself ugly. As a gangly, uneven toothed, frizzy haired, flat chested, acne sprouting teenager all I wanted was to be pretty and I fully believed the mean girls and the media that told me I was ugly. I spent all my money on clothes, makeup, and fashion magazines that made me feel worse not better. Every time I heard the whole “inner beauty” line I reeled in disgust. I kept that belief long after my acne cleared, my curves came in and I learned how to calm my hair. My teeth are still uneven, but that’s not my concern.
I don’t like the saying “real beauty is on the inside”. It’s misleading. We should be explaining to our daughters and nieces that real beauty COMES from the inside because beauty is something WE decide based on our own ideas. I recently heard a spoken word poet on her experience with “pretty”. Her mom gave her plastic surgery as a gift to fix her crooked nose and constantly told her that it was okay because they would MAKE her pretty. The message she wants to tell her own daughter is that you will be pretty smart, pretty talented, pretty awesome, but never just plain pretty. Listen to Katie Makkai’s rant about beauty on Upworthy, http://www.upworthy.com/this-womans-beef-with-prettiness-will-leave-you-speechless?g=2
Beauty has become this disgusting obsession that means so little to me now. I don’t care about being pretty anymore. It is the most freeing decision of all that I made so far. I want to continue to be successful, I want to keep learning until the day I expire, I want to be healthy, but I don’t want to be pretty. I want the goals of girls to be about intelligence and inner growth and knowledge, not attraction to others. There are women who look like the current version of beauty who think they are ugly. That alone should prove how demeaning it is for women to concern themselves with outer beauty. Now boys and men also feel ugly and crave this boringly conformed idea of who is handsome. Stop the madness! Start a revolution.
This was written in response to Voice4 Society blog, http://voice4society.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/dear-god-can-you-make-me-beautiful
Want more proof that beauty is not necessary for success and happiness? Lizzie Valasquez is one of the most beautiful women in the world, but some angry unhealthy people call her the ugliest. http://thelasttradition.blogspot.com/2012/09/worlds-ugliest-woman-lizzie-velasquez.html
What do I love about not wanting to be pretty? I have more time to do things I love. I have more money to spend on things that are important to me. I only need a few minutes in the bathroom to get ready each morning. I can focus my thoughts and energy on inner growth and philosophical reflection. Other people’s concerns don’t bother me. My mental health has improved.
So let’s keep talking and blogging about it until beauty becomes the least important part of us.
Do you think you are beautiful? Do you care?