I personally have always found the term ‘pretty’, when applied to me, to be rather insulting. As in, “just pretty??!?”. Ok, so I have a healthy level of self-confidence, bordering on being downright vain. I swear to you it’s not my fault – it’s genetic. I come from a long line of terribly vain people, a whole family of people who will swear up and down that we are made solely from “beautiful genes”.
A wonderful example of this was the time I was walking with my uncle into a mall. Looking at his muscular calves, I happened to notice they were smooth as a babies bottom. Being about 9 years old at the time, my inquisitive nature was in full bloom. “Uncle?”, I asked, at the top of my lungs, I might add, “how come you shave your legs?”. Now, being part of my conceited family, there was no hushing, or lowered tones. Nope. Instead, he answered just as loudly, “You see these sexy, muscular calves? They are irresistible…and when I want the women to come and fawn around me, all I have to do is this!”, and he stuck his calf out, and pointed with both hands…in the middle of the parking lot, clearly disrupting traffic.
So, since that isn’t even a rare example of one of my family members, or a vanity situation, it’s no wonder I subconsciously deem myself to be above simply “pretty”. Like how, whenever someone tells my mom that her daughter is beautiful, she says “Thanks! I know, she takes after me!”, and yes, she’s 100% dead serious. But this woman, in the following spoken word piece, takes pretty to a whole new level. What’s pretty supposed to be all about? And why do some people strive to achieve pretty, like it’s some standard of worthiness? Check this out, y’all, you’ll never use the word pretty in the way she’s speaking about ever again.
I hope this message becomes the standard to little girls everywhere. How terribly sad is it that so many of them become so consumed with “pretty” that they basically miss out on the carefree happiness that should come with childhood?
I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday, and if you have a daughter, or little girl in your life, make sure you take the time today to tell them how very special and precious and perfect they are, just as they are.
What does “pretty” mean to you? Inquiring minds want to know!
When this song first came out I was young, and not liking this sort of new “flava” to TLC’s music, I mostly mocked it. A few years later, I listened to the lyrics for the first time, and I actually cried. I don’t think I was ever sure why it would evoke tears, or that feeling of wanting to cry, at least not until I was an adult: but it was like my soul was crying out.
Eventually, I came to realize, I was crying because it hurt my soul that there were girls walking around who really felt unpretty, who had never had someone in their lives tell them that they were beautiful and special every day of their lives growing up, until there was nothing that could be done to shake that belief.
I was crying because, despite all the turmoil and pain in my teenage years, my childhood was filled with those affirmations and so, no matter what else came at me, the reflection I saw in the mirror each day had me responding “just pretty???!?” without an ounce of humour, or shame, or unsure, because I believed with my entire heart and soul that I was beautiful. And brilliant. And special. No matter what.
My heart hurt for those who had never felt that kind of unconditional positive regard.
It still does.
And now you all know what pretty means to me. I would love to hear your “pretty” story, if you have one.
Thank you, as always, for tuning in.