You Are So Much More Than Pretty
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Health and Wellness

You Are So Much More Than Pretty

Letting go of being sexy

You Are So Much More Than Pretty

If you consider yourself a feminist, you should know that there is so much more to being an awesome person than being desirable. If you're a woman, you should be appalled that anyone, especially other women, would reduce our worth to how pretty we are. However, so much of how we live our lives revolves around making other people think we're pretty.

Let's face it, everyone, at some point, has the desire to be desirable. Now, I'm not talking about the occasional date night, or going out, "I need to feel sexy," kinda feeling. I'm talking about the people who want to look good all the time. Most people go through this while they're young, especially in high school. Other people, like Kim Kardashian, never seem to outgrow it. I'm not completely over my desire to feel attractive all the time but I've come a long way, and my life is so much better because of it.

There are a few major things I've let go that have made all the difference.

I'm embarrassed of a lot of the things I did to feel attractive in high school, primarily tanning. Yes, I, the sunscreen queen, had a tanning package at least four months out of the year in high school. Why? I was insecure, as most people who tan are. My first semester of college I took Health Psychology, and we learned that people who tan excessively value looks over being good people, and value being desirable over being healthy. Talk about an eye opener. I realized that tanning to hide cellulite (which I totally never had) and to be prettier (which was totally unreasonable) was the most ridiculous thing I had done so far. I admit, I should have listened to my mom. I put myself at risk for cancer to be, "sexy..."

Another aspect of being sexy a majority of women fall victim to is the perceived need to diet and lose weight constantly. Almost every girl I know on a personal level has body shamed in front of me. It's not just my friends, among teen girls with low self-esteem, 61% of them report talking negatively about themselves. 44% of girls in high school, and 15% of boys are attempting to lose weight, whether they actually need to doesn't matter.

Lots of girls will exercise and diet unnecessarily to fit society's idea of beauty, and will see themselves as flawed no matter how thin they are. I was guilty of body shaming for years, and I finally decided that being mean to myself only made me unhappy (shocking revelation, I know). If you or someone you know body shames, work hard to help them stop (you can find five tips). Remember that exercising and eating healthy to be good to yourself is never a bad choice, but being hard on yourself for not having the perfect body only tears you down. (By the way, what is a perfect body? Important questions.)

Yet another facet of female beauty is found in how we dress. We learned from watching Project X that every guy wants us to, "wear something tight," and tight do we wear. I've got news for everyone: tight clothes aren't comfortable, and you're actually even more uncomfortable because they showcase everything. Tight jeans ride up, and leave marks. Bras from Victoria's secret are made for the models that literally work out 5 hours a day before shows, and they definitely aren't comfortable. Wearing tight clothes that are flattering and in style is definitely a job, so why do we do it? To make other people (guys) want us. Gag me.

Life is so much better when you give up wearing sexy clothes all the time, trade them in for some soft bras, leggings and boyfriend jeans, sneakers, and oversized shirts. Confidence in how you look is way sexier than tight clothes anyway.

Last but not least, let's talk about hair and make up. I used to have disgustingly long hair because everyone told me I wouldn't be as pretty if I cut it short. That's sad. So many girls cling to the traditional view of the beautiful woman with long, thick, flowing hair, even when it's annoying, high maintenance, and hot. In reality, natural hair at every length is super cute, and if it makes you happy, why not? When it comes to make up, I can't say that's something I've given up. I'll always have a passion for playing around with make up and wearing it on days I need a little pick me up. However, I did let go of the notion that I needed make up, and every other woman should do the same. No one needs make up, and feeling like you have to wear it every day to be pretty does more harm than good. The first time you go a day without make up is a weird experience, but it's a liberating one.

Ladies, remember these words from the amazing philanthropist Audrey Hepburn:

"The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”

Audrey Hepburn was an amazing actress, and is one of the most iconic women in style history, but she has done so much more than appear on the big screen. Hepburn was a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF in the 80's and worked tirelessly for the benefit of children. She has a memorial fund established by her children to further benefit children around the world, but most of us remember her as pretty.

What we all need to take away from this is that society so often reduces women that are amazing people to pretty that we eventually do it to ourselves. We often measure our self worth by how desirable we are. The next time you catch yourself rethinking your outfit, holding on to your hair, forcing yourself to put on eyeliner, choosing salad over pasta, or standing in the mirror criticizing your body, remember this: you are so much more than pretty.

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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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