"Every little girl should be told that she's pretty." - Marilyn Monroe
I could probably count on one hand the amount of times in my life when someone has told me I was attractive, bar the ex-boyfriend who would tell me I was pretty everytime I said something ridiculous. I've always managed to hide behind humor or intelligence to distract attention from my looks. No one could ever tell me I was stupid or not funny and have me believe them. To be called ugly, however, couldn't rock me any further than if I'd been stabbed in the heart with a red hot poker.
I was an awkward, shy kid with thick glasses and bad teeth who chewed her hair and could name any dog breed upon sight (still can!). I won a first place in Science Olympiad for Forensics and started taking the ACT/SATs in sixth grade. When I was about thirteen, a woman at church told me that I should be a model. My mom turned to me, however, and just said, "it's because you're tall." Being beautiful was not my role.
But I wanted to be beautiful and like everything else in my life, I thought that all I needed was some sort of accomplishment, a certificate, a grade, so I signed up for Miss Preteen Iowa. I felt that this could prove that I was pretty. If someone tried to say differently, I could show them my crown and say, "but, look! I'm a beauty queen."
I wore a peach ballgown dress that my mom made, I practiced my walking and posing for weeks. When it came to the day, my mom did my hair in a tight French braid. I placed in acting, but, of course, I did. I placed in speech, but, of course, I did. I placed in talent by singing a classical Italian aria, but, of course, I did. When it came to the titles, however, my name was never called. I was devastated. The first thing I said to my mom when she met me crying in the dressing room, however, was "I want to do this again next year." Somone had to believe I was beautiful, right?
Last week, a boy asked me to be his girlfriend.....I haven't heard from him since. He's been doing some social media updating about not having anywhere to take his many dating options, so....at least he didn't die, I guess. In fairness, we decided to "talk about it after the holidays," but I guess I thought we'd still speak between now and St. Patrick's Day. You can match up on every intellectual and emotional level, but I can't stop telling myself that this wouldn't happen if I was beautiful. The greatest part is that this is someone that was supposed to be a friend of mine...previous to this.
I've broken up with boys who then list in exacting detail the physical things about me that are imperfect. I've had kids on the playground tease me for any variety of things. I've had the maturity to think that the ex is hurting and he's trying to make me hurt too or the kids at recess are jealous that I get to travel with my family, have good grades and am the lead in the school play. But, still...when I meet someone, I just assume that they're not going to be attracted to me. I know I'll win them over, but I feel like there's something I need to win over. I don't think I'm a monster, but I'm always waiting for someone to shove me down a few pegs.
I've been told that is one of the most refreshing things about me: that I just don't believe I'm pretty. But I'm not down with that. I want a guy who wants me to believe that I'm beautiful and does what he can to make me feel that way every day. That's the type of man every woman deserves.
Real beauty definitely comes from the inside, but it doesn't hurt to be told you're pretty now and then.
"Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical." - Sophia Loren
**Love this quote...but, disclaimer, I'm not sure people were always looking at your eyes, Sophia....