Let’s get something straight tonight, okay everyone?
You should feel pretty. No one should make you feel unpretty. In whatever form that takes. Take the selfie (or don’t). Put on the make-up (or don’t). Do your hair (or don’t). Wear nice clothes (or don’t). Whatever makes you feel most comfortable in your own skin (sometimes quite literally) you should do. Your life is too short to worry about how many likes/marriage proposals your photos get on Facebook (or not).
Okay. That’s a nice reminder, but that’s not what I wanted to get straight: I need everyone to remember that it is more than okay to be unpretty.
That is, you don’t actually have to be or feel beautiful all of the time. I mean, there is absolutely something about everyone that is beautiful. But you don’t have to acknowledge it every time you feel like you need to acknowledge your worth. (Well, I have nice legs, so that means I’m a decent human being, right?)
Really, why isn’t it enough to be smart, or generous, or organized? (Oh, that’s right. Because you can’t easily convey that through an Instagram picture.)
And don’t get me wrong, it’s totally fine if you take pride in your looks. But the fallout is ridiculous. I pull up my hood and hiss at people when I’m out in public without any make-up on so they don’t look at me too closely. I try to stand up straight and look sufficiently bored but pretty when waiting in line at Starbucks. I treat every sidewalk like a runway. Just because I’ve been taught that I need to be attractive to other people at all times. Just because the media has told me that men and women are supposed to be desirable, always.
But do you know what I would really like to do? I would like to just look like myself. And not worry about the way the light is hitting me, or if my make-up is smudged, or if I have resting b**** face. I would like the permission to be unpretty (or at least not worry if I’m beautiful or not).
And so, since I believe that you too would like the permission to be unpretty, I’m giving it to you. You don’t have to be perfectly put together all of the time (but go you when you do get it together some of the time.) You don’t have to be camera ready, you should just be ready for anything. And of course, you don’t always have to be or feel beautiful. You should just be and feel.
You’re alive and that’s enough.