One comment on “The “Pretty” Paradox, Redux

  1. I am sooo touched by this post. I admit, I have always been pretty or beautiful. People saw this before they saw my intelligence or humor or creativity. People saw this AFTER they saw all that.
    When I had kids and lost my figure to weight gain, I felt (and still feel) like I lost some core value — sexy, beautiful. I probably still am these things, to be honest, but because I deviated so far from the cultural norm, my “pretty face” and I feel lost.
    It’s sad. Horrifying. My boyfriend tells me he loves me,and I think (or say, on really low days) “even WITH this horrid belly and fat thighs?” How awful. To his credit, he doesn’t rush to assure me I’m thin. (I’m NOT!) He says “Babe, I don’t care about that.” And reminds me about all the ways I am amazing, ways that are not at all dependent on my looks.
    I hope I’m not sounding pathetic right now. I’ve just been really struggling with redefining who I am in relation to how I look, especially as I now live in a city that values to the EXTREME bleach blond Malibu Barbie. I feel like an ugly duckling even though I really am not ugly, or even unattractive. But I’m NOT SKINNY!
    So I think what you’re saying about beauty also applies to weight. Or maybe they are the same, I don’t know. I think I’m probably still beautiful, just keep the eyes on the chest up. Get any lower and it all crumbles.
    And of course my female characters are all slim and beautiful. And now I feel so bad about this I need to do some rewriting. Eek.
    Re: my kids. I have three truly beautiful little girls. They could be in movies. And yes, I am guilty of complimenting their looks. But more often, I talk about my super-smart genius 4 yr old; my daring, bold, loving 6 yr old and my artistic environmentalist 8 yr old. And I honestly do reinforce these qualities in them. With my words and deeds. And when I say they are beautiful, I’m quick to remind them that I’m most impressed by their beautiful hearts and minds.
    So thank you for this. It was much needed. And btw, your writing is BEAUTIFUL!

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