I was driving home the other night after a long day of acting classes, rehearsals, working out, etc. that had taken me all over Atlanta. I was hungry. I’d forgotten to bring something to eat, and I’m on a restricted diet right now (Whole 30 like but I’m finding it hard to fight the fight against hidden sugars even though that’s why I’m on the diet). I was tired of driving–I’d been in the car well over two over hours throughout the course of the day.
I was thinking about my face because I’d watched myself on camera earlier in one of my classes. I hadn’t looked how I expect to look based on how I usually see myself in a mirror.
I had an ungenerous thought about how I hold my face–how I’ve been holding it my whole life–and concluded that I’m probably not pretty. I cried.
Looking back in the light of day with a full night’s sleep, I don’t think my assessment was correct. But I’m uncomfortable with how important my appearance has become to me and that I could feel that low about it.
When I was in therapy a few years back, I worked on not judging myself for wanting or trying to look attractive. I think I had it in my head that it was a betrayal of feminism to invest too much in my appearance. Or, the more likely explanation, I was afraid that even if I tried I wouldn’t be attractive so I settled for being smart and took comfort in that.
What’s weird about wanting to be pretty is that by some definitions it’s less than beautiful. As an adverb, it’s a qualifier. I’m pretty attractive. Aiming for pretty feels like settling in another way. Beautiful seems out of reach so please just tell me that I’m pretty.
Please. Pretty please. Pretty please tell me that I’m pretty.
No real resolution here (since resolution would involve taking on society’s destructive standards for beauty, and like the fight against hidden sugars, I’m not up for that right now). Just wanted to highlight something I’m struggling with.
Other than questioning my own attractiveness things are going pretty well. I purchased this pretty matching folder and notebook the other night. Pretty inspiring!