You Don’t Have To Be Pretty

When I was a teenage girl, I was obsessed with my looks. Sure, it paid off by getting lots of attention from the boys. But that’s not really such a good thing. It distracted me from my real purpose. It caused me to be exploited and abused.

At the same time, I was athletic and ambitious. If professional sports had been a veritable path of employment for girls the way that it is for boys, I’m quite sure I would have tried to be a professional athlete.

women's black hair
© Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

But instead, I was obsessed with my looks — with attracting boys, and having lots of attention.

I wish that I had not.

I wish that someone had told me to become obsessed with something that mattered… something that would empower me and increase my self-esteem rather than burden it.

So if you are a young woman contemplating whether or not to do this-or-that to make yourself prettier — I’m here to tell you this…

“You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partners, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother. You don’t owe it to your children. You don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”. 

Diana Vreeland

Author of the quote:

Diana Vreeland (September 29, 1903 – August 22, 1989) was a French-American columnist and editor in the field of fashion. She worked for the fashion magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, being the editor-in-chief of the latter, and as a special consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was named on the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1964. ~ Wikipedia

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