Please, Don't Call Me Pretty

Please, Don't Call Me Pretty

Because I'm so much more than that.
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Of all the things there are to be called in this world, "pretty" seems to be the go-to compliment towards women. Almost nobody understands why I hate that word. I don't want to be called pretty because there's so much more that. I'm smart and funny and talented. I want to be told that someone likes the way I think or that I'm good at telling stories. I don't want a man thinking I'm cute before he knows what makes me laugh and I don't want to be called beautiful before I'm able to have an intellectually stimulating discussion. There's such a pressure and desire for young women to want to be beautiful that we're forgetting to want to be anything else.

For some reason, so many girls simply aspire to be beautiful. From an early age, we're taught to play dress up and play with makeup and other products deemed "feminine." Girls grow up wanting to be princesses, but settle for second best as a trophy wife. If we don't feel beautiful, we feel worthless, because beauty and excellence go hand-in-hand. We're stuck fighting this unrealistic beauty standard each and every day set by the world around us. Beautiful is what we're striving to be. Not interesting, or charming or nice, just beautiful - that's all. And what is beauty going to get us, exactly? Someone maybe mildly interesting to find us attractive for a little while? A drink or two at a dive bar? While there are so many things we can be doing with our skills and knowledge, we're worried about the way we look. We're not going to cure cancer if we're too worried about flyaway hairs.

You see, society has women constantly wanting validation that they're beautiful. So much so, that we only compliment her appearance, not her quirky sense of humor or take charge attitude. And I've heard far too many times the phrase, "ugly but nice," as if they're mutually exclusive. As if to be a decent person you have to look good as well. Often times, if we find a person unattractive, we're actually less inclined to socialize with them, as if only pretty people are worth our time. Is it because we just don't notice them, or because we subconsciously only want to surround ourselves with "pretty people?" Instead of talking about how great of a leader a woman is, we're talking about her outfit (cough, cough, the 2016 presidential election). Everyday Feminism writer, Erin Tatum, reminds us, "Every women's identity extends so far beyond the superficial, and they deserve for others to start recognizing that." Basically, beauty is only skin deep, so dig a little deeper, because women are people with thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Rupi Kaur, writer of milk and honey summed it up in just a few lines...

And she's absolutely right. As a woman, you are so much more than that. Women are the most exquisitely strong creatures on this planet, yet for some reason, we're reduced to "pretty," "beautiful," "hot," and other adjectives to describe our physical attributes. SO many people will try to say "beauty is only skin deep," but Societal values have put such a pressure on us to look a certain way that none of us are really focusing on what we should be - ourselves, who we actually are; not what we see in the mirror.

Beauty is completely irrelevant; compliment someone's confidence, enthusiasm, or work ethic. Not only is it demeaning, but beauty is a predictable compliment as well. This isn't to say to never accept a compliment on your appearance or tell someone else they look nice, but we need to keep in mind that our looks shouldn't be so prevalent in our society because in all honesty, they really aren't all that important in comparison to who we are as individuals. Because we are individuals, not just a pretty face.

Cover Image Credit: Project Inspired

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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'Sissy, Why is That Boy Wearing Makeup?'

June is time to celebrate equality.

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This past weekend, I went to the mall with my family. It was just a normal family excursion, and I wanted to walk into Sephora to show my mom a perfume I liked. We go inside, and my mother and I drift away from my dad and 6 year old sister, Sierra. I showed her the perfume I thought smelled amazing (Roses de Chloé) and we look for my sister and father to exit the store. As soon as we leave, my little sister grabs my hand and asks, "Sissy, why is that boy wearing makeup?"

This was the first time my little sister has ever asked about anything like this, and I wanted to make sure I gave her an answer. I turned to her and said, "Sierra, sometimes there are boys who wear makeup, and girls who may dress like boys. People are allowed to wear what they want, it doesn't matter." Sierra looks up at me, says, "Oh okay," and that was the end of it.

Sharing this experience to say, HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

So thankful to live in a country where all sexual orientations get a day to celebrate their love. That's what this world needs more of-- love. It shouldn't matter who it is, where they are from, the color on their skin, or their gender identity.

When Sierra was born, I always wondered when this conversation would come up. I wondered what I would say, how she would react to it, and how she would be exposed to it. Like I consistently preach, everything happens for a reason, and I'm glad Sierra was able to get exposure and receive an immediate answer. Love is love, and I will forever stand by that.

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