I am, and have been, a lot of things-
The Smart Girl
The Responsible Girl
The More-Mature-Than-Her-Years Girl
The Nice Girl
The Good Girl
The Good Example Girl
The Helpful Girl
The Dependable Girl
The Talented Girl
The Funny Girl
The Good Performer Girl
The Teacher Girl
But I’ve never been The Pretty Girl. That elusive descriptor that I’ve longed for, but pretended that I didn’t really want at all.
And part of it is my own doing. I complain about men and their relationship to female sexuality, but when it comes to this topic, I am guilty of a few inappropriate things myself.
“Pretty girls are shallow.” “Pretty girls are self-centered.” “Pretty girls are bitchy.” “Pretty girls are stupid.” And on and on go my thoughts.
But if I dig deep enough, underneath all these thoughts is a tiny voice saying, “I wish I were a pretty girl.”
One of my deepest longings and, at times, one of my most shameful secrets, given all my internal judgments about “pretty.”
And one of the most difficult and confusing things about being a woman, because there aren’t many models I can follow-or I should say, that I want to follow-about what it means to be an attractive, confident, sensual, sexual female.
One who defines her sexuality on her own terms, instead of what others-and unfortunately, by others I do mean “men”-have decided is acceptable and appropriate and desirable when it comes to female sexuality and attractiveness.
One who knows that this, like every other part of being a woman, is for her-no one else-and that she gets to decide how, and even if, she chooses to share these parts of herself with others.
It’s so hard to step into this arena. Sometimes it feels like walking into the middle of a thousand stabbing knives, cutting away at me to see if what’s left underneath bears any resemblance to anything deemed “acceptable” when it comes to pretty.
So much easier to hide.
So much easier to pretend that I wasn’t even trying to go there in the first place.
Because pretending that the idea of “pretty” has never even crossed my mind means that I am safe.
Safe from the knives.
Safe from the judgments.
Safe from all that masculine energy that continually dominates the public face of women’s beauty and sexuality, attempting to squash it down into as tiny a box as possible.
Maybe they think that then, they will be safe from what our amazing female energy can really be.
I don’t know.
All I know right now is, that sometimes I just wish I were the pretty girl.