Happy Girls Aren't Prettier
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Health and Wellness

Happy Girls Aren't Prettier

Sorry, Audrey Hepburn.

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Happy Girls Aren't Prettier
The Odyssey Online

Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn is well known for her quote, “Happy girls are the prettiest.”

This phrase has been plastered on mugs, pillows, phone cases, and anything else you can imagine. This is a quote many women live by and use it to inspire them. But what about the girls who have a hard time being happy?

The quote has always bothered me a little bit, but I never understood why. This is until I found out I had depression. Because of a few chemical imbalances in my brain, happiness isn’t always easy to find. I don’t control those imbalances, so I can’t control my happiness (to an extent).

When I’m not having one of my off days or necessarily feeling sad, I choose which situations to focus on and prioritize what makes me happier. When the depression comes rolling in and knocks me down, I’m just upset – no rhyme or reason.

So when I see this quote, all I can think is, “Am I not considered ‘prettier,’ because I’m not always happy?” My mental health should not determine my attractiveness, be it of my soul or my face. The quote feels like the equivalent of somebody saying, “Just smile, it’ll get better,” while I’m mid-panic attack.

I can’t just change the way my brain works. I didn’t get a choice in having depression, and I sure as hell didn’t sign up for it. So, no one should make me feel like it’s just something I can return at Walmart with a receipt.

The truth is, depression isn’t pretty. It’s messy, and at times, untamable. It’s full of apathy and uncaring about everything. It’s forgetfulness and fatigue. It’s crying over everything and nothing; and it’s not a pretty cry. It’s full force sobbing into pillows and trying not to breakdown over the simplest of things. It’s the furthest thing from pretty.

It’s never ever going to be 'pretty' for anybody who deals with depression, and it kills me inside to think some white girl with a quote on her notebook believes we can just change it all, and be a whole lot 'prettier.'

If happiness is what makes me pretty to the world, then screw happiness. I should be pretty to those who love and support me, even on my darkest days. They should find me beautiful even when I’m unable to get out of bed, or when I’m sobbing into my sheets. The best people in life are the ones who are able to look past the uncontrollable ugly. They’re the ones who help when it’s needed and will never hesitate to get you back up, because they can see that behind all the tough times, is someone who needs love.

I will continue to have my rough days and none will be any prettier. I will not magically get better; it will always be a part of me. I will always live with a little bit of ugly, and so will many others. We will all be just as pretty as the girls who don’t have depression, and all the other girls dealing with their own piece of ugly will be just as pretty as well.

Mental illness does not define my beauty, and no one ever will.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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