Spanks. Eyebrow plucking. Leg shaving. Hour long work-outs. Dying grey out of hair. Waist trainers. Botox. Face-lifts. Bikini waxing. Skin rejuvenation. Eye creams. Wrinkle creams. False lashes...etc.
Because of the desire to look "perfect" on the outside, we often put ourselves through very painful regimes trying to achieve the impossible. We pluck our eyebrows, one by one, to achieve the perfect brow, we wax all parts of our body to have a smooth surface, we put lye in our hair to make it straighter, we spend hundreds of dollars on creams, gels, ointments and cosmetics in hopes of meeting society's definition of pretty, and when winkles set in, we spend even more money to hide their appearance. We let people stick needles in our skin to hide our signs of living a full life, but all that really matters is the pretty, right?
Whenever someone realizes I’m single, the first thing they tell me is, “I can’t believe you’re single, you’re so pretty.” While I’m grateful for the compliment, I’ve never heard someone mention any of my non-physical characteristics as something that may be appealing to attracting a healthy relationship. This appears to be a familiar trend in our society, as the outer shell always takes the lead in determining a woman's worth and the rest is just an “added bonus."
I’ve been on dating websites in the past and as an author, I spent time crafting what I thought was a witty and intelligent profile to show my skills, my thought process, and give some insight as to what type of person I am, only to receive notes of men saying, “Nice pics." When I would question if there was anything about my profile that made them think we might have something in common, the resounding answer would be, “Oh sorry…I only looked at the pictures.”
My single male friends don’t have to worry about pretty. I would be hard-pressed to hear a group of guys telling their single male friend,
“Man, all you have to do is man-scape a little more. The women will LOVE you if you just care more about what you wear and how you look."
Men will likely talk about strengthening who they are as a man before they will put emphasis on how they look, and society will accept this. If a woman disregards her looks and focuses on her intelligence or talents, she may be respected, but if her talents achieve media attention, the conversation will undoubtedly focus on how she looks, and not on whatever extraordinary gift she’s giving the world.
Pretty hurts. Women who are considered pretty often have their own set of hang-ups that people refuse to address or have compassion for because the common mindset it, “She’s pretty…why should I feel sorry for her?” And women who don’t meet the so-called standard of pretty suffer from their own demons of not feeling good enough, which leads to low self-esteem, body image issues, eating disorders, depression, and other illnesses and dysfunction.
Pretty can’t publish my books, erase the lack-luster relationships I’ve had, or give me a sense of security. Pretty doesn’t pay my bills, help pay my children’s student loans, or comfort me at night. Pretty doesn’t solve homelessness or hunger, produce a cure for cancer, or evoke peace in this rapidly deteriorating society. While pretty is certainly nice for men to look at, then what? Pretty might draw someone in, but the development of this:
is what is will transcend the pretty with a longevity that the physical attributes we fight so hard to hold on to will never possess.
Pretty hurts…it’s painful to maintain, and even more painful if we feel we can never have it. But nurturing our talents, our minds, and our passions feels good, builds self-worth, and never fades.
Embrace your INNER pretty first and foremost, because that is where the TRUE treasure is buried. You won’t find it in a mirror, in a man’s lustful stare, or in a magical jar at the store. It lives in your heart and will save you from ever having to feel the pain that pretty often brings.
Just a thought…..