I'm a pretty girl. This is something I've been told all of my life by friends, relatives, and even by random people on the street or in a restaurant.

I've never wanted to change the way that I look, and I never stayed up late praying to be pretty when I was little. As I grew older and my features filled out and I learned a thing or two about makeup and hair, I noticed that I began to feel as though all I will be seen as by people, but especially men, is the "pretty girl." I noticed that once a man has actually gotten to know who I am beneath my makeup, hair, and body, they don't like what they see anymore. I'd rather be the smart girl, or the funny girl. What I wouldn't give to hear someone say they like my sense of humor or my intelligence more than my smile or my "amazing body." Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my body, but I'd love to be proud of my humor and personality, too.

I can't tell you how many times I saw girls begging for boys to tell them how great they look physically from the time I was about 12 to even now at 18. After experiencing it on an almost daily basis, those girls can have it. I don't want a man to simply "put up with me" because I have a good butt and nice boobs. I am and always have been more than my appearance, and what I really want is for someone to recognize that.

The worst part, though, is when I tell people how I feel about this, they suggest that maybe I change who I am as a person, and then maybe boys would like me more. This is ridiculous. I don't know how to be anyone else, nor am I going to change who I am to fit some social standard. I know my personality can be hard to handle, but I like who I am. I know that many people don't like me when they first meet me or think that I'm rude based on how I look when they catch me off guard, but that doesn't mean that if you actually tried to get to know me you wouldn't change your mind.

My hope for this article is that the men in my life, or in your life, will read this and realize that it's more than just ANY girl's appearance. Maybe we're a little weird, or not really what you expected, but sometimes, that's just the fun of dating, or even simply getting to know a new person. We're more than what our skin is - we're funny, smart, and beautiful, both internally and externally, each in our own way.

So, boys, I challenge you this: Talk to someone you wouldn't normally talk to this week. Find out about who they are and really try to get to know the person beneath the skin. Maybe, you might actually like what you see.