I Will Never Be 'The Pretty Girl' And You Shouldn't Want To Be Either

I Will Never Be 'The Pretty Girl' And You Shouldn't Want To Be Either

Because you are more then just a pretty face.
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"I wish for once I was the pretty girl," I said out loud to one of my friends as I was scrolling through my Instagram. We didn't get hung up on the conversation for too long. We laughed it off, not taking anything too seriously and moved on, but my words stuck with me.

Who is "the pretty girl" that I wanted to be in that moment?

The pretty girl is the girl who has a reputation for her looks. The girl who always looks good in any photo of herself always has the right thing to say and appears to be perfect from afar. The pretty girl is the girl who other girls want to be, even if they don't say it out loud.

In the age of social media, we are given this pre-destined label based on who we appear to be. The soccer girl, the quiet girl, the outdoorsy girl, etc. As we place labels on ourselves, I have come to realize, why do we all want to be the pretty girl so bad?

She sounds boring. She sounds like she has too much free-time to take that many photos of herself. She lacks depth since she seems to have everything going well for her all the time. She lacks growth because she's always had it figured it out. So, what makes her seem so appealing?

The pretty girl is a universal symbol for average.

No matter how many Disney movies we watch that tell us to stand out, we all want to blend in. Nobody wants to feel like an outsider or incompatible to normality. The pretty girl blends in with the other pretty girls. You couldn't pick her out of a crowd. The filters are the same. The smile is fake. But we crave the idea of being held to some level of social hierarchy.

Even if you were born to be on the cover of Abercrombie and Fitch, your looks are not the thing that people should remember you by. Your impact on people's lives and the world around you are more important than how well you can plan your Instagram feed.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and keep appearances, but it shouldn't be the foundation of what you are recognized for. When people see you walking by, don't you want them to think more of you then, "Oh, she's pretty."

You deserve more for yourself. You deserve to be more than someone who is only known for how they look. You should be known for the things you d0. The life you live. The impact you make on the world around you.

Besides, being bold, kind, courageous or intelligent are much more attractive traits.

Be the girl who helps her community.

The girl who never gave up on her dreams.

The girl who can outrun any guy on the track.

The girl who puts 100% effort into everything she does.

The girl who is ready to listen.

The girl who isn't afraid of a challenge.

The girl who is always wearing a smile.

Most importantly, you are more than just a pretty girl.


Cover Image Credit: Bruno Nascimento

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You Can Still Get Homesick While Having The Time Of Your Life

Not every moment has to be fun and glamorous.

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We often look at college life and study abroad and backpacking trips on other people's Instagrams and see all the fun they're having and all the friends they're making. This is especially the case with study abroad, when these people seem to travel to a new place every weekend and live their absolute best lives. As a result, when we embark on these trips ourselves, there is often a disparity between expectation and reality that can majorly affect you both physically and mentally.

It's important to understand that even if you're meeting new people every day and exploring a new country every week and living out your dreams, there will still be days where you feel like you just want to go home to your group of friends and hangout at the local boba shops or sit with your family at home and just watch TV while fighting over the remote. While you're absorbing all these new and wonderful things around you while abroad, your body will yearn for something familiar, comfortable and secure. And that would be your life at home.

You may feel the need to just stay in your apartment for 2 days straight and binge watch YouTube or call every single one of your friends back home just to catch up. Or you may end up revisiting pictures from the past and salivate over the Korean BBQ trips you took back at home and get intense urges to eat food from home. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. In fact, a good way to help appease these feelings are to search for the cuisine that you're craving for in your city, and go out of your way to eat it just to get that familiarity back. I have found myself at Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops in Paris more often than I ever was at home, and while others may consider this as a waste of time and that I should be experiencing only French food, it's a really good way to appease those feelings of homesickness. Trust me, the moment you take that first bite of beef noodle soup, you'll feel much, much better.

This isn't to say that you should only stick to the familiar even in a new city. Explore as much as possible and be open to trying new things, but every once in a while, when those feelings of homesickness hit, don't feel bad about buying that boba or starting that 3-hour long video call. After all, you can't have the time of your life if you don't take care of your mental health in the process.

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