American media sells beauty. Whether you are being pushed to buy the newest powder or pressured to purchase the latest teeth-whitening strips, everywhere we turn are airbrushed models that have been pricked, prodded, and photoshopped to look like people they don't even recognize.
This is not some feminist plea to ban the “skinny-app" or picket beauty companies for their seemingly-perfect-10 models plastered around every corner.
I am not attempting to tackle either of those beasts. But I am attempting to let you ladies know there are many more things that are important to be before you are pretty. More specifically, a list of 50 things I would rather be than pretty:
Looking good and feeling good are not underrated. Embrace the mornings your hair curls the way you want it to. Celebrate the afternoons you get your eyeliner just right. Drink to the nights your little black dress makes you feel like you can rule the world.
But, just as importantly, embrace the mornings you have to throw your hair up in a bun because it might be a bad hair day, but you are still respected, sincere and centered. Celebrate the afternoons you just can't bring yourself to put on makeup – because even though you might be AuNaturale – you are still warm, zealous, and successful. Drink to the nights you stay in your sweatpants; just because you're comfortable doesn't mean you aren't still enticing, outgoing and strong.
So, yes, being pretty is nice. Being pretty feels good. But there are plenty of things that feel a lot better.
Dedicated to Addie Gragson, someone who is so much more than just pretty.