No, this is not a post where I turn into an egotist; but the idea of being pretty is something that I struggle with. For as far back as I remember I have been told, “you would look prettier if” or if I do tone my look down “aww you look so much prettier“. Neither of these comments are meant with malice but I do really hate the notion that being ‘pretty‘ is the ultimate aim for every girl.
What if some girls don’t want to look pretty? What if pretty just isn’t in their personality? What if instead they feel more comfortable being quirky, funny, sporty, badass, street, rock or dapper?
For me clothes are an important part of expressing myself as so often I can’t find the words to do it articulately, however, the way I choose to dress has always come under fire or drawn negative attention.
Some of my London favourites are “Camden is that way love“, “Do a wheely witch“(I was on my bike at the time), “Brummm Brummm where is your bike?”
Now, I have a sense of humour about these things and each throwaway comment quickly become additions to my repertoire of anecdotes, however, judging people on their clothing can come with much more serious results and are often used as a catalyst for sexual harassment, aggression or homophobia.
I find it hard to comprehend judging someone for wanting to step out of the box with their clothing as I think life would be incredibly dull if we all wore the same uniform. Which is why I also struggle with the view that being pretty is the optimum look for a female when there are so many to choose from.
Even as an adult I so often hear “you are so much prettier” without as much eyeliner, when you wear colour, when your hair was normal etc. The thing is, I don’t want to be pretty, I want to be grungy, rocky, badass, confusing, intriguing and, yeah, a little weird, because those are the things that I find inspirational and represent my interests and personality.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against pretty – there is an undeniable strength in the ability to be able to carry such a gentle and alluring look. My issue is that it seems as a society we are stuck in some sort of time warp where for many being pretty is the only way a women can be attractive and those who choose not to follow this unwritten rule open themselves up to ridicule by simply being themselves.
We are not all cut from the same cloth so why are we so often expected to wear it?