Family Time | On Being Pretty
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On Being Pretty

On Being Pretty

As I drive to work this morning with a blemish on my chin I think about how maybe I should have done more to cover it up lest I offend the people I see today with my ugliness.

And then I think further. Being Pretty is a lot of work, you know. Many men have no idea what we tell ourselves constantly. Yes, I’m gendering this. It is women who grew up with Seventeen magazine and other self proclaimed guides to teenagerhood, telling them they needed to work harder at Being Pretty, to spend more money and more time on Being Pretty.

As if that were the most important thing in the world. More important than being kind. More important than working hard. More important than creativity or happiness or faith or community.

Think for a moment about how Being Pretty is a hobby, or a job for some who pursue it to that extent. How absurd it is if you compare it to something such as, say, knitting.

It takes a lot of commitment to Be Pretty. And it can take a lot of time and money, too. You need all the Being Pretty supplies; mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, ten zillion face creams and lotions and serums and washes, brushes and pads and wipes and razors and tweezers – like we all have some of this stuff.

What if we all had some knitting needles and yarn around? Like every single person you know. And we compulsively berated ourselves for not knitting very well and had to knit every morning or nobody would see us as worthy of love, and we bought more and more knitting supplies as we aged and felt even more of a need to knit even though it was increasingly obvious we would never be very good at it…

Being Pretty is some people’s job and some people’s hobby, and I applaud those people for doing something they enjoy. It’s nice to do things you like doing in your spare time, and it’s nice to feel good about doing something well.

I’m going to go about my day today not feeling like I should have spent more time and money on Being Pretty, though. We don’t all HAVE to spend more time on it. I am not into knitting, though I do love to crochet now and then — and I appreciate other people’s knitting the same way I appreciate other people Being Pretty. And I’m only a little into Being Pretty. Some days I feel like it and others I don’t have time or energy. That’s okay.

Don’t be offended by my face today. We don’t all have to Be Pretty.

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