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Old 07-05-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default Pretty?

i stole this great video rant from a friend's facebook. it is really thought provoking. even though the designation "pretty" seems to be especially important among fat women in particular does the "pretty"question limit all girls no matter their size? how has the pretty word shaped you? has it limited who you are or distracted you from focusing on who you really are inside? is it just a part of you that you don't over analyze and accept as something you are anyway?

Katie Makkai's "Pretty" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:41 PM   #2
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hmmm... I think there are characteristics that are "pretty" about me (if we are just talking looks), but I think there are many many girls/women prettier (physically). I care more about how my inside projects out and truthfully I am glad I am not really pretty or drop dead gorgeous, etc.. because:
1) It keeps me humble

2) It seems to create problems for these kind of women

3) I like people to really know ME and some people tend to get very caught up in looks and can easily be manipulated by them

I think I am OK and I am OK with that! I hope I am pretty inside though

Just my opinion

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Old 07-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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That's a really powerful slam.

Where do I begin?

I don't take my beauty for granted but I will be the first to admit I'm not particularly humble. If that sounds contradictory, I'm a pathological hypocrite too but it's a girl's perogative to change her mind so I don't spend a lot of my time navel-gazing about that.

I've been excused FOR horrible behavior and FROM more verbal 'fat type' abuse than my 'less pretty' counterparts, favored by teachers, merchants, relatives, law enforcement and others in authority and celebrated with a career (albeit brief) based entirely on my looks. I am also guilty of exploiting it if I feel it will help me obtain something I want.

On the other hand, since I was a small child, I've been a target of sexual predators, subjected to heinous sexual harassment at several jobs, alienated by other girls/women who have never actually spoken a word to me, isolated from others because I was a 'distraction', rejected by potential suitors because they thought I was out of their league and potential friends because they were intimidated by my looks, had my feelings dismissed because 'you shouldn't cry...you're beautiful' (WTFuckityFuckFUCK does THAT mean) and been accused of 'stealing' countless husbands and boyfriends although I never ONCE did because I LOVED my friends and was loyal to them, and have even been falsely accused of infidelity. And yes, each and every time it was either blatantly or obliquely stated because of my appearance and (hand in hand--arrogance.)

Do you really want to know what I think of my beauty? It is an accident of nature that I could lose in a heartbeat. And yes, you can absolutely say to me, well, easy for you to say, you have it...but it has never insulated me from the heartache of not being loved by my husband or the rejection I feel when I just want to be someone's friend and I'm dismissed with a cursory glance or a contemptuous snarl.

Although my face was spared, my body has been disfigured by disease. I see those scars as mementos of something that could easily have killed me and am not ashamed of them but I don't for one second forget to be grateful for the things that REALLY matter. Like a sound mind, creativity, humor, deep loyalty, a capacity and desire for forgiveness, what's left of my health, intelligence and quick wit, an ability to sense danger and the courage to face the known (unbelievable physical and emotional pain) and (even more terrifying) the unknown.

My definition of pretty IS what's inside. Truly. I know a lot of 'beautiful' people that are so ugly and tormented inside it shadows their visage. I know some people who might be described as conventionally 'unattractive' that are so tender and smart and merciful that they glow. That's the beauty that matters to me.

In the short time that I've been posting at DIMS I am stunned by the beauty of the people in this place. Their words, their experiences, their wisdom, their deeds, their courage.

The world (and particularly our culture) will continue to judge by the superficial and I am part of that world...I can't deny it nor can I isolate or separate myself from it. My fat has in some ways, like my beauty done that for me to a degree. But I can decide how to respond and how to behave and damn if I don't screw it up often enough but I keep trying and hope I'm succeeding because I think I'm 'pretty' awesome and THAT is what is important to me, about me and about the people I choose to share myself with.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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Casting, very insightful post. I can also identify. I have always been called pretty ever since I blossomed as a teenager (I was teased for my butt teeth prior to braces and my foreign surname when I was a child). Even though I have gained a significant amount of weight since I was 16 (I was thin at 16), I am almost 27 years old and I am still told that I am pretty, perhaps more so now.

It took me a long time to own into my looks and to feel pretty. There are times when I feel like I look 'ugh'; my emotions tend to waver a bit. But for the most part, I feel that I am that pretty girl.

Pretty does get a lot of favors and excuses some behavior. Teachers and professors favor you and give you that 'halo effect' when you are pretty, not to say that I didn't work hard in school, I did, but I had an easier time.

Pretty gets men to treat you like you are feminine, like you are something. Men, for the most part, are nice to me. Women are also nice to me, even though there are some who are a little distant towards me because they think I will be stuck up because of my looks---most of them later warm up to me when they find out that I am down to earth and real.

Pretty is a double edged sword---it can be quite inconvenient at times. For example, I can't go into a convenience store or gas station without being oogled or asked for my 'phone number'. "Got a man?" "Yes, sorry." "Can I be your friend?" "No thanks." It is hard to have male friends without them feeling sexually attracted to you or even falling in love with you.

I consider pretty to be the combination of outside looks and the manner in one carries themselves.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Other people's reactions to my looks have been so wildly variable I come to the conclusion the old adage is correct, there's nothing absolute about beauty and it has more to do with the person making the judgment than what I actually look like. My looks are kind of a neutral funhouse mirror for what people want to see, I've been 'disgusting' and a 'goddess' on the same night. I get more attention from men than I want, more annoying than flattering, kind of like what happyface said about going into gas stations. I have a stalkerish guy at my apartment complex, and I can't have any male friends apparently. Sometimes I don't want to leave the house because I dread the inevitable commentary, be it positive or negative. It gets really stressful at a certain point when I just want to go about my day. Yet, I rarely see anything real and positive from being 'pretty', and I sure thought it would mean more when I was a kid than it actually does. I'd take either favor at work for a change or a decent fella to be with as restitution. Choice is your universe!

It seems to me beauty isn't a rare commodity in the least, gorgeous women are everywhere, calling themselves ugly in the mirror. Just another media hype with no substance, stealing people's money and keeping people separate in the process.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:05 PM   #6
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I am pretty,I know that. Thanks for the genetics mom n dad.
I was a pretty plain child.. chubby and quiet but when I
developed I totally used that sexual power.
I still do,Its how I make a living. My thinking on it has changed alot in the last 10 years though.
Although still hypocritical,I know because of the following...
I used to be flattered when I would get whistled at or hey baby comments etc. Then one day I got mad and it never went away.
You will see some wrath if I am heckled... usually retort including your mother and a farm animal of some variety.Yet I still use my sexual power to make a living... and I am not ashamed of it at all.
Women are forever walking the line of balance... be sexy but not slutty,be pretty but unaware. It is alot of societal crap and most of it is perpetuated by OTHER women. How women look and dress have changed alot throughout society.and ya know what?... MEN ADAPT... so I do not feel like it is patriarchy thing at this point... WOMEN judge and rank other women far more viciously and systematically than men do.

Naomi Wolfe is great writer on this subject... 'the beauty myth' is her most famous book but I far proffered 'promiscuities' I think it should be mandatory reading for all girls and women.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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Amazing video. It reflected everything I've ever felt. I am tired of women being reduced to their worth being equal to their looks. When she got to the part about "not enough strangers finding you suitably f***able" I was in tears and cheering in my soul.

I wasted years of my life being sad because no one wanted me because I wasn't pretty enough. Wasted years I could have spent reading better books, learning interesting things, engaged with the world instead of hiding from it.

As women we need to teach our daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, the importance of creativity, intelligence, humor, joy, and that looks aren't equal to our worth as a human being.

I shared this with my facebook friends. Thanks.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superodalisque View Post
i stole this great video rant from a friend's facebook. it is really thought provoking. even though the designation "pretty" seems to be especially important among fat women in particular does the "pretty"question limit all girls no matter their size? how has the pretty word shaped you? has it limited who you are or distracted you from focusing on who you really are inside? is it just a part of you that you don't over analyze and accept as something you are anyway?

Katie Makkai's "Pretty" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0
I don't think I'm pretty, but I also don't think I'm ugly. I'm just average. I blend in more than I stand out and I'm pretty ok with that. I have seen too many women who are considered pretty not be taken seriously to want to be in their shoes.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:59 PM   #9
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I think of my looks as average. I used to want to be pretty, like my older sister and have a lot of attention, but as I get older, I rarely stress about it. I'm just fine being me.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
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I don't think I'm pretty - I never ever fit in that lable. Pretty in my world was fair skinned girls with small noses and long, straight hair. Pretty was never ever fat and short and dark - and really it still isn't. I love the way I look. Getting to this point has been a long, friggin hard slog but I'm here and its a really awesome place to be. I know I'm sexy as fuck and I've been called beautiful and entrancing blahblah but pretty is something that passed me by I think and the little girl who used to cry about it is pretty much over it
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:53 PM   #11
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Heck yeah!! Great performance and spot on. I thought it was amusing and a little sad that some guy commented about her being a man-hater when she didn't say a thing about men at all, at least that I remember.

Here's how I feel about the word pretty:

Pretty is such a weird word to me. It conjures up David Bowie to me, and Pretty Things, pretty boys, androgynous double entendres, and ennui.

I try not to think of the phrase "such a pretty face" as it's been used against me, used against wives by disapproving ex-lovers, used as a preface to the "you really need to lose a few pounds" lecture by both friendlies and strangers, used to the point of meaninglessness.

The one out FA I dated was a bumble bee of love among the fat flowers of womanhood, seemingly always out with a new lady whenever I'd see him afterward (not that that's bad, of course). He was one of those who did say the bit of me not having to worry about thin girls because he liked me just as I was, as if I was going to go weep in the bathroom about losing the one heroic guy on Earth who could sacrifice himself to condescend to fuck fat me. I wish I had been further along on my path to self-acceptance when I knew him so I could know whether I remember things went worse than they had.

A guy once wasted a half hour of my naive time online AOL in '91 asking me all about my body: he was a lover of the fat ladies and I'd just discovered chat rooms. So I gave him my dimensions. Hips were big enough, waist was sounding good to him, boobs on track . . . and we came to his exclamation that if I didn't have a fat face I'd be perfect! I was at a loss for what he meant. I mean, how the hell could I have 60-something inch hips and NOT have any fat on my face? I didn't tell him aye or nay, just thanks and take it easy. So "fat face" somehow got tacked onto "pretty face" in my head in a not-good way. So it was almost like I was at last having someone say to me it was a pity I had a beautiful body but such a fat face! Ye flipping yak dogs . . . .

Still I try to remain open-minded and to not bring along my pretty luggage whenever somebody says pretty with regard to me, other ladies, or whomever. It doesn't matter much to me these days whether people think I'm pretty in the conventional application so long as they think I'm a person they're interested in being around. I like pleasantly featured people as much as anyone but I'm not going to limit myself to them. And I don't buy that men are biologically more visually oriented. That whole thing appears more to be societally ground in as it has been suggested that women [i]in general /I] have better vision and sight acuity, particularly within close (i.e., intimate) range.

And here is an interesting little article I found that may or may not be relevant to anything.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tau View Post
I don't think I'm pretty - I never ever fit in that lable. Pretty in my world was fair skinned girls with small noses and long, straight hair. Pretty was never ever fat and short and dark - and really it still isn't. I love the way I look. Getting to this point has been a long, friggin hard slog but I'm here and its a really awesome place to be. I know I'm sexy as fuck and I've been called beautiful and entrancing blahblah but pretty is something that passed me by I think and the little girl who used to cry about it is pretty much over it
SEXY is so much more anyway! You are beautiful to me
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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For me, knowing my whole life that i'm not pretty may have shaped how i act. I was told from a young age that i wasn't good enough or looked right to do things in life. So it has limited my life quite a bit.

It's sad that most of society does shape their ideas about a person on outward appearances. If we all judged people from intelligence and personality i think it would be so much nicer. Although, i have issues with my intelligence too. I think i'm just one messed up person
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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It is sad that for women everything about them is gleaned from how they look, no matter how successful they are. Who cares that Oprah was the first Black woman on Forbes' Billionaire List--how did her hair look? Again, sad.

The idea that I am not pretty enough has unfortunately bound me in horrible ways. For fear of not being pretty, I did have the confidence I should have had in high school. I know I've missed out on a number of dating opportunities because of that. I know now that I'm pretty, even lovely. I'm not glamorously beautiful, and I don't say that in a self-depreciating, way, but strictly matter of fact. I know I do have positive physical qualities and can be sexy when I put my mind to it, but I could be a well honed machine if I had not been so concerned about what my peers would think in high school. I know for sure I could have had two guys....dang, time wasted.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #15
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All my life I've been called pretty, and I relate the word to a negative feeling all the time, and I think I always will. To me, pretty is not a passing grade for anything.

I've always been the type to say "it must be done perfect otherwise it's worthless to try at all" and pretty doesn't come close to descriptors of "perfect" and therefore, to me, it's not even worth anything.

Have I gotten by in life a few times because of the word "pretty"? Maybe. I don't know for sure. But from my experiences, being labeled "pretty" can lead to a life of Hell.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:51 PM   #16
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I actually just watched the vid - thanks so much for that link SuperO. She broke my heart when she said she hasn't seen her face in 10 years. What has always made me kind of pause at the crazy of our society is how many mothers are judged on the way their daughters look - anybody else noticed that? I will never forget my mom making embarrassed, laughing excuses for this 'fat, pitch black' creature she'd given birth to. My mom is awesome just by the way - not running her down here but that was what people said to her about me when I was little. People would ask her if she was sure my sister and I were siblings cos how could one be so pretty and the other just not and I distinctly remember the smug almost gleeful looks on the faces of the other women and other mothers who asked those questions. I made a documentary in university - it sucked soooo badly - called The Ties that Bind exploring relationships tween mothers and daughters. And the chick who was the editor for the doccie had been fat when she was little and she told me that her mother would call her every 3 months or so, panic stricken, asking: "Oh my God you haven't gotten fat again have you Angie cos I dreamt you got fat again and I couldn't handle that happening to us again!"
Can you handle?? It sucked for Angie and it made me so angry for her but I also couldn't help wandering what her mother had been through, had heard and seen for her to openly panic at the thought of her daughter becoming 'unpretty' again. The stories like this are endless and its made me also so determined never to let any little girls I might have ever believe that their package, the fairness of their skin, the size of their breasts or the width of their hips is all they are worth.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #17
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The one out FA I dated was a bumble bee of love among the fat flowers of womanhood, seemingly always out with a new lady whenever I'd see him afterward (not that that's bad, of course). He was one of those who did say the bit of me not having to worry about thin girls because he liked me just as I was, as if I was going to go weep in the bathroom about losing the one heroic guy on Earth who could sacrifice himself to condescend to fuck fat me. I wish I had been further along on my path to self-acceptance when I knew him so I could know whether I remember things went worse than they had.

A guy once wasted a half hour of my naive time online AOL in '91 asking me all about my body: he was a lover of the fat ladies and I'd just discovered chat rooms. So I gave him my dimensions. Hips were big enough, waist was sounding good to him, boobs on track . . . and we came to his exclamation that if I didn't have a fat face I'd be perfect! I was at a loss for what he meant. I mean, how the hell could I have 60-something inch hips and NOT have any fat on my face? I didn't tell him aye or nay, just thanks and take it easy. So "fat face" somehow got tacked onto "pretty face" in my head in a not-good way. So it was almost like I was at last having someone say to me it was a pity I had a beautiful body but such a fat face! Ye flipping yak dogs . . . .
Ok - firstly - bumblebee of love!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!! I cracked up for days Secondly, the thin face thing - I hope you told him to take a pineapple shit and die!
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Old 07-06-2010, 10:58 PM   #18
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F*%K YEAH, KATIE MAKKAI!!!!!!

What a great video. That last minute...powerful. So so so true. I felt it in my guts.

I've totally been that girl who has driven home from a bar/club "crestfallen because not enough strangers found [me] suitably fuckable." I have SO been that girl. And the thing is, how high does that number even have to be? I mean, sometimes even if several guys approach me, it doesn't feel like enough. Because when that's the gauge of my self-worth, it's the insatiable hole that never gets filled. That whole scene doesn't much work for me, to have the kind of life I want.

It also reminds me of the Ani Difranco song Not a Pretty Girl. I remember the first time I heard that song (which was way after it came out) and it was so freeing to hear another woman both name the oppressive tyranny of beauty under which we women live, and for her to refuse to be bound by it. The reality is, even though I fight against the tyranny with about 80% of me, the other 20% is totally caught up in it, and mostly never feels good enough.

That's really great to hear that so many of you grew up being called pretty, and believing that you were pretty - honestly, what a wonderful gift! And you all are so lovely, it's certainly fitting. That was not my experience though. My parents never emphasized looks, but I definitely knew that there were these creatures called "pretty girls" and I was not among them. But "pretty" became loaded with lots of other things than just physical looks - it meant being flirty, stereotypically feminine, acquiescent, etc. Those were not things I really was for most of my life growing up (and still am not, except the flirty part, I am a tiny bit better at that. maybe.).

So, since I knew I wasn't one of the "pretty girls", and those were really the ones wanted by guys and valued in general, that meant I had to work my ass off to become awesome at basically EVERYTHING else, for the hopes of sneaking under the radar into the group of girls considered valuable.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:54 AM   #19
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I grew up knowing I was "pretty". I was never starved for attention in any way. My parents always told me I was a "pretty" little girl and boys liked me. It made for some uncomfortable times making female friends in elementary school. Some girls didn't like me because I was "pretty" and I guess to add insult to injury I was also very smart and like-able/popular. I wasn't a bitch - I never felt I had to be. Some assumed I was stuck up based on my looks until they got to know me and eventually told me they prejudged a lot about me because of the way I carried myself.

I can appreciate my parents though because they didn't put me on some imaginary pedastal and didn't give me a pass to misbehave or not achieve academic success because I was an attractive child. I remember always wanting to be like my mother when I was growing up. She was always proud of herself, always with class, poise and dignity. She was a career woman, had a pretty good relationship with my father (or so I gleaned from their interactions as a kid) and she was beautiful. Was she beautiful because she was working towards and achieving her personal goals and didn't have to throw people under the bus while doing it? Or was she because purely from a physical stand point? My biased mind thinks both.

I always knew I was loved and cared for and that they were very proud of me. But there was balance. They didn't see with rose colored glasses - if I stepped out of line, I was checked. I remember around 13 or 14 I wanted to wear makeup and my father walked into my room and gave me a big hug and told me I didn't have to wear makeup. I was pretty as is and I didn't need it. At that time I didn't "get it". But now, as an adult, I am thankful for that moment and others like it.

I'm still an attractive woman, but as of late I've been reluctant to use the word "pretty" to describe my physicality. "Pretty" conjures up my childhood, innocence, etc. I'm not a child, so I choose to call myself beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, etc. And I don't feel that limits me - I am beautiful AND smart, I'm gorgeous AND I'm on my mad hustle (just got promoted!). I don't feel that I have to choose - it's not an either/or situation for me or my life. I'm comfortable being intellectual and holding the reins of my sexuality/sexual power. It's a balance though. I'm not interested in using my looks to get ahead. Do I think I've been favored in the past because I'm attractive? Yes, especially so when it comes to men. Women, on the other hand, can sometimes be jealous or feel like there's some kind of competition when there really is none.

I'm trying not to take this whole "pretty" thing seriously though. I think it's all just an illusion and facade anyway. As long as I keep that in mind, I'm good. So I accept that I'm a beautiful woman and enjoy being that. It's just that most days I don't give it top billing in my life.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #20
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The problem with "pretty" is that there is also "prettier". As someone who's been burned horribly by this comparison [thanks, ex-husband], I hate that this life feels like constant competition for status and standing. I know that experts say cheating or a guy leaving you for someone else [or simply prefering the company of someone else when he claims to be in love with you] isn't about you and your need to be better or different [aside from normal relationship issues]... but in the minds of the people doing it, it seems that there is a kernel of this issue, even if there are deeper things going on. Or perhaps the comparision is just an excuse, but it's one that's effective at making women feel like shit.

I've been told I'm pretty [and sometimes believe it]. I've been told I'm anything from ugly to attractive to beautiful to gorgeous. Sometimes it feels like a scale, not just a description. Growing up, I was the smart one and had friends who were the pretty one.

At this point in my life, I'd prefer someone who can't put their finger on one single thing about me that makes them love me. I'd like someone who can list things they find beautiful in me, but who knows it's more than a laundry list of traits... and who will still feel that even if some of those traits change as I age and grow as a person. Perhaps someone who thinks I'm completely beautiful, not just pretty.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:37 AM   #21
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I especially dislike it when my SO tells me, "you're so pretty to me". I always reply, "well what about the rest of the world. Am I only pretty to you?". I know it is insecure of me to ask such things, but I feel like he only calls me pretty on occasion, and always adds "to me", which IMO implies I am not pretty at all, but acceptable enough for him to fuck and cook his meals and do his laundry and care for his child. Acceptable enough that although he knows there is prettier out there, that I am the only one that is going to put up with his shit, so it would be in his best interest to call me pretty on occasion. He probably puts it in his blackberry as a reminder, because it sounds so forced when he says it.

I feel like the word pretty is a filler. Its a harmless term and is so overused. Anything can be pretty. Anything can be cute. Pretty and cute are terms I have always been called. Pretty is something your friends call you when you're complaining about how you look and they have nothing else better to say. Cute is what guys say when they don't want to be mean. Cute is so childish, cute is imo a reference to personality and actions versus appearance, unless you're a chipmunk or a baby or the like.

I might be selfish but what is the deal with people being afraid to call someone gorgeous, or stunning, or beautiful? I of course would only want to be called any of the above terms out of complete sincerity, but it would be nice to hear once in a while.

I know I am unaccepting of what other people think is pretty about me, which most people say my cheeks. I think that it is the biggest bullshit answer I have ever heard in my life. Its like, well your eyes, lips, body, breasts, ass, hair, and overall appearance look like shit, so whats left.... oh yeah your cheeks. Sorry for the rant, but I needed to say it at some point in life, and why not here.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #22
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That's a pretty intense poem.

And it is interesting, because yesterday on her program Jennifer Stone was reading a version of the Little Mermaid which, by its sound, is no Disney fairytale. "I need your tongue for this potion. You will be voiceless, but every human male will fall for you. When you drink this on the shore, your tail will split, then shrink. It will feel like you have been sliced in half. You will be able to dance with great talent, but every step you take will feel like you are stepping on a knife."

Reminds me of something familiar, yes? I will try to edit out and piece together the two parts next week.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #23
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If it is what I am thinking, elfcat - it won't belong in this thread. If.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sweet Tooth View Post
The problem with "pretty" is that there is also "prettier". As someone who's been burned horribly by this comparison [thanks, ex-husband], I hate that this life feels like constant competition for status and standing. I know that experts say cheating or a guy leaving you for someone else [or simply prefering the company of someone else when he claims to be in love with you] isn't about you and your need to be better or different [aside from normal relationship issues]... but in the minds of the people doing it, it seems that there is a kernel of this issue, even if there are deeper things going on. Or perhaps the comparision is just an excuse, but it's one that's effective at making women feel like shit.

I've been told I'm pretty [and sometimes believe it]. I've been told I'm anything from ugly to attractive to beautiful to gorgeous. Sometimes it feels like a scale, not just a description. Growing up, I was the smart one and had friends who were the pretty one.

At this point in my life, I'd prefer someone who can't put their finger on one single thing about me that makes them love me. I'd like someone who can list things they find beautiful in me, but who knows it's more than a laundry list of traits... and who will still feel that even if some of those traits change as I age and grow as a person. Perhaps someone who thinks I'm completely beautiful, not just pretty.
Yes. Stated so very well SweetTooth.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:11 AM   #25
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That's a pretty intense poem.

And it is interesting, because yesterday on her program Jennifer Stone was reading a version of the Little Mermaid which, by its sound, is no Disney fairytale. "I need your tongue for this potion. You will be voiceless, but every human male will fall for you. When you drink this on the shore, your tail will split, then shrink. It will feel like you have been sliced in half. You will be able to dance with great talent, but every step you take will feel like you are stepping on a knife."

Reminds me of something familiar, yes? I will try to edit out and piece together the two parts next week.
This is the original Little Mermaid though - this is what the nuns read us in primary school. In the end she dies and, instead of becoming foam on the sea as she had feared, she becomes a sort of angelic guide, pretty much trapped between heaven and earth doing good deeds till judgment day. This was me at age 8: LOL! It may be the original but I prefer to ignore its existence.
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