Being pretty. It’s what we all grew up knowing was good, right and necessary. My mum was a “right on” alternative parent, yet still, I have in my head one of best best compliments to me was beautiful. She also laid on clever pretty thick 😉
I grew up in the 90s, era of Pamela Anderson, the supermodel, and rise of pole dancing as an acceptable methods of putting yourself through collage. Really. 90s was pretty sick for women, and I don’t mean sick in a good way. Anyway…I digress, I wanted to write about beauty, about being pretty.
Nower days, many of us right-on parents are aware of not placing too high a value on looks. Everyone is equal right, looks don’t matter, prettiest isn’t best. I agree with this and try my best not to focus on clothes and looks too much with my kids, accept them as they are. I also try to complain as little as possible about myself and my looks, hair or body. I do wear makeup and do my hair and love clothes though, but I consider it part of cultural play to enjoy appearance to a degree, like dressing up, which I loved as a kid.
However much we do this, its only a matter of time before the world drops its bomb to our girls though: a cruel massage that to be acceptable you need to be pretty. They will go through it until they a old and mature enough to not give a shit.
Girlchild is pretty. Really above average beautiful actually, with her Greek/English/Colombian roots. I don’t think about it much, except sometimes when I stare at her sweet face and fall in love….but that’s more because I’m her mum than her objective beauty. But it has been pointed out.
Wow, she is really, really beautiful, eh.
Dont cry, beautiful girls don’t cry, you will look ugly. That’s what they say.
(i.e Shut up and be pretty, its what you do best)
And fine, cool, so she’s pretty. Big deal. But check this out, this new parental worry. I’m worried that she might be too beautiful. Because although everyone wants to be good looking, being over good looking is actually a curse. (I’m not saying this through direct experience before I get pegged as some kind of narcissist!)
Exceptional beauty brings problems, I’ve seen it. It brings envy, a unwanted attention, it can warp a personality, blot out other qualities.
So what’s that about?
Girls: be pretty, sweet and good, and, for gods sake, don’t be ugly. Fit in, be pleasing on the eye, tow the line, but don’t stand out, don’t be too fabulous and be above yourself, because we will cut you down, envy you, bring you down a peg or two, show you who is boss.
It’s all part of the same parcel in this patriarchal value system.
So, girlchild: be brave in your beauty and your feminine power. If the world finds you pleasing to look at, use it wisely, enjoy it, don’t be afraid. Of course, don’t abuse it, it doesn’t make you better or worse than anyone else, and I trust you to know that, because you are that wise. Shine on my strong girl, don’t let them cut you down for it, be fabulous like you are. Be bold, be worldly, be sturdy. You are beautiful but not just because they say you are, because you have a beautiful spirit.
Oh Lordy. To be a woman.