To be born not exactly what society would label as ‘pretty’ is pretty much an ongoing issue for some women; girls from their adolescence to grown-ups women who can’t help but stare a little too long at the long-legged beauty with angelic faces (yes, these creatures do exist!). I used to be one of these inferior ladies, and I would mourn over the fact that, I am, not genetically blessed, unlike you, head-turners.
Now, looking back to those pimpled and thick glasses eras, I felt I’ve come so far and I would think that I am no longer insecure. But, I was wrong. Insecurities are not a baby blanket to throw away when you’ve outgrown it. They follow you to adulthood, mercilessly. Every now and then I would look myself in the mirror and inspect inch by inch and angle after angle I would look prettier. Even when I have already been in a relationship for a steady (rocky) 8 years and he would call me pretty almost in every chance he gets and I would think I’m lucky, I would still call myself an average beauty.
Because it’s what my surroundings think I deserved.
You see, a shaped thinking about outer beauty is something adults inject, sometimes unconsciously, to the developing mind of a young child. We judge that this girl is prettier than the other, and this girl is just an okay-looking and this girl is just straight up not gorgeous, and we spill words in between our presumably harmless comments around people. I was seen as less than myself for far too long until a boy sent me a ridiculous love letter that I started thinking that somehow, I wasn’t invisible.
You, on the other hand, my friend, have always had a constant spotlight due to your excessive, striking beauty. A walking home run gene. I once thought that at least I’m smarter than you. But, what smart asses got better than a pretty face? I looked, and it was really nothing. We are overlooked, we settle with second-class treatment because that’s what we are to society, hashtag #notprettyenough.
I’m not going to comment on the trendy representations, that we should feature more mundane looking people on screen, not as extras, but as the main character. I know that’s not how it works because I, too, enjoy looking at pretty faces like yours. Let’s not lie and exaggerate the supporting role we’ve always been given besides the pretties who would be the leading lady.
May I remind you that this is not a hate-letter, but more of a jealous statement but with no intention to bring you down. We are women, and women stick together.
It’s just that I need to let it out once and for all. It’s never a good feeling to be overlooked, but we can’t do nothing to change that. I’ve heard people calling you sweet names that I’ve only dreamed to be associated with back when I was in junior high. I hope it’s easier for me as it is for you. Finding love, losing one and quickly finding another without a chance of dwelling in your heartbreak, getting a free pass because of one look, and never having to look in a mirror and questioning about whether this one’s going to stay forever or getting away to sail to another prettier face. Or maybe, just a common decency that we often seem irrelevant to in daily life. Nobody wants wit, everybody wants you.
Now, this is a relieving rant, at least for me. We might never be like you, we’re also getting old just like you are. And sometimes, you will preserve those traces of beauty and pass it to your future children. I do hope it’s with dignity and wit, too. Because there’s nothing more disheartening to see a pretty shell and not a pretty pearl. In this very thought, allow me to gloat. We live off of our wits, we survive on it. Layer by layer, we will read through dozens of books, watch movies in a language we didn’t speak, have a quality talk with somebody above our intelligence levels because we love it (and also, secretly, because we think what else do we have, right?). But for you, we also wish wits and wisdom to know that you’re more than just a pretty face. You can be a double, triple, quadruple threats and excels us if only you also see yourself more than the genetic shell.
Maybe now I will still come home to an unwelcoming mirror, but I will feel better. There will always be pretty women like you around us the self-proclaimed witty, and we will still vigorously scroll down through your Instagram archives, with no single clue of what we’re looking for. Just enjoy those filters you use to enhance your already-beautiful existence that approves your beautiful life, probably. I will find a strength to remind myself that this body I own is God-given, and there’s no society would decide things for me just by looking at a mere body and face. Yes, in that part, you’re luckier and getting away easier than some of us would ever be. But, my second class treatment due to darker complexion and/or imperfect lips have helped me realize wittiness is also important. Now it’s my job to show that too to my future children. She can be anything, she can be pretty and witty, she can be just witty and still pretty. She will be loved. Us, the witty, will be loved. We all will be loved.
Forever your admirers,