I can be pretty… Even typing this out makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel arrogant and up myself. Which I know I’m not. But the struggle to feel pretty shouldn’t just be an issue of arrogance.
Being called ugly is something I am quite well acquainted with.
Being called ‘ugly’ is something I used to get really upset by. I mean who wouldn’t? I think for everyone its like a trigger word that brings on a floodgate of shame, embarrassment and lowered self esteem. Or even sadness.
But why does that word hurt so much?
I know ugly is a negative word. I know it is. It is used so negatively and not just about appearance. Even though the dictionary definition of it is the first example it gives.
‘very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance’
So the above definition is probably why being called ugly hurts me so much. I’ve been called ugly by strangers, acquaintances and exes. So when you get told it enough you begin to believe it.
It can be used as a negative reflection of your character or seen as ‘morally revolting’.
I want to start by saying I know I am not ugly… now. Its taken me nearly 20 years to get back this sense of self. The self appreciation for my own unique form of pretty.
When you are a kid you don’t think about being ugly or attractive. You just think about your friends, playing games and being liked. Being pretty doesn’t really factor in to your mind as a child.
I mean it is a lovely compliment when you do get called pretty, but you don’t notice nor care about that particular compliment.
One of the first times I go called ugly that really hurt was when I was 13. I was a really shy teenager volunteering at a charity shop to help with my Duke of Edinburgh volunteering category.
I love reading, so I would organise the books donated and price them. They were usually in the basement so I would sit and organise them and bring them upstairs. There was a girl I worked with, F. She and I got along rather well.
Although I felt like she was one of the ‘popular’ crowd. Which I have never been a part of and find rather intimidating to be honest.
She brought down her friend H to the basement so H could see where she worked. I was there sorting through bags. I looked up and there was F with H. I said a greeting to F and I think she was about to introduce me to H but H cut her off and replied.
‘I’m sorry but I don’t talk to ugly girls.’
And laughed. F sort of side ways glanced at me and laughed awkwardly with H. Then they both walked back upstairs.
I just stood there, stunned. And very upset.
I was already pretty shy due to really bad bullying so then to have that it just seemed to be another factor I needed to apologise for. Or to be self conscious about.
And throughout my life it would be my crutch. I would think that everyone was staring at me cause I was ugly – which wasn’t true. They weren’t staring at all, just my own paranoia getting in the way or making me see the smoke without any fire there.
GET THE LOOK
What brought this train of thought up?
I feel Pretty movie. With Amy Schumer.
It was in the recently uploaded category on Netflix and I thought… mmmm isn’t that the movie that got quite a lot of negative reviews due to the tongue in cheek humour?
I wasn’t sure if I should watch a movie that body shames plus sized women?
I’m glad I did.
Because it isn’t about body shaming, it is about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Beauty is found within. And so long as your bringing everyone else up and not putting them down the feeling beautiful in yourself isn’t a sign or arrogance. It is a sign of confidence and acceptance.
Schumer’s character doesn’t change any outward appearance at all, but her attitude changes and this then has a domino affect of positivity that happens.
This belief in yourself is infectious and then others believe in you as well. That is the moral of the movie. Or that is what I took from it.
Beauty can be found in the appreciation and validation from others but it starts from within yourself.
I have watched ‘I feel Pretty’ twice now, I was just about it put it on a third time when Jack came back and I thought ah… can’t really watch it with him here. Because chick flick and Jack does not equal a good time. For him.
Which is why I am watching it in the background now for the third time on this Sunday morning. I like to take a break from my first draft of writing and then go back to it so I can go over any spelling/grammar/punctuation mistakes.
He would hate it and all I would hear is complaints or laughter at the absurdity of the plot. So hence why I am watching it now when he is sleeping beside me.
Why do I struggle to feel pretty?
Cause in all honesty my perception of someone who is pretty is the complete physical opposite to myself.
I’ve always thought someone who is pretty is someone without glasses, someone with big blue/hazel/green eyes, someone with a curvy feminine figure.
I wanted to look like someone different. I wanted to feel desired and feel pretty.
Basically the opposite of me. When I grew older my perception of beauty and being pretty changed as well. It wasn’t so narrowed as I saw different forms of beauty.
But for myself? Within my own body and my own face?
I struggle with it so much. I think it is because I am looking too closely. I can see all the flaws.
Or its because I genuinely don’t see myself as stereotypically pretty. I know I am pretty in my own right – but you wouldn’t walk by me and do a double take, or work up the courage to walk up to me in a bar and chat me up.
I am just me.
And I am ok with that, sometimes. I am pretty in my own right, and that is something that I’ve struggled so long to say to myself.
But even just thinking that way is a struggle – I don’t want to come across as arrogant or self delusional. I know I am not an oil painting or something to ogle over.
That is another issue that sort of irks me. Why should I feel like acknowledging my own sense of beauty can be perceived as arrogance? Is it arrogance to just be like right, I am pretty in my own right, potentially not as pretty as a lot of other girls but for me? And what I used to look like to what I look like now? I feel like I’ve become a bit pretty. This is where I am in so two minds. I want to be like woohoo go me and on the other hand I feel uncomfortable being that in your face about a concept like that.
But my face is my face, my body is my body – in working process as I am hoping to get more tattoos and become stronger – but the struggle to accept that I can be perceived as pretty is an uncomfortable one.
I didn’t think this was something that I had an issue with until I met Jack.
I had just resigned myself to the fact I was ok looking but my personality was definitely better than my looks which is probably for the best.
Then Jack came along and has told me soooo many complimentary things about myself that I am realising how much I struggle to accept that.
Initially I was like aw he’s just stretching the truth a bit or maybe its cause he has his love googles on that he’s seeing me through rose tinted glasses.
But no, he genuinely thinks I am pretty. And I am slowing beginning to believe in it myself.
Feeling pretty starts from perceiving yourself as pretty.
Beauty come from within.
Its how you see yourself, against yourself. Try not to compare yourself to others that you can could never physically be. Like me I wished I could have blonde hair, blue eyes and curvy hour glass figure; big boobs and big hips.
Which I can never get without surgery. But I can create a strong, athletic hour glass figure through weights and strength training.
Finding your beauty shouldn’t be through others perception – I love that Jack has made me re address how I view myself. I thought I had accepted myself – slightly. But him combined with the morale message from ‘I Feel Pretty’ has shifted it a little bit.
When I probably should’ve shifted it by myself.
When do you feel pretty?
Thanks for reading my lovelies