Why be Pretty?

I’ve battled pretty my entire life. I spent decades trying to be the word. Years trying to dissect the word. Now, after raising two young girls all I want to do is dismiss the word completely. It has stolen years of my life, more money than I ever want to think about, and lots and lots of joy. And why? 

I hope things are changing for little girls. I hope we can all be part of that change. I hope we can encourage them to be anything they want to be, except for pretty. 

Why be pretty?

Why be pretty when you are going to spend most of the day standing on your head? 

Handstands require strong muscles, good coaching, and lots of practice. 

They don’t require pretty. 

Why be pretty when it only has 6 letters?

A mind like yours can learn to spell words like magnificent and brilliant.

Those words aren’t just longer, but they better describe you too. 

Why be pretty when there is dirt to dig your hands into and puddles practically begging to be jumped in? 

The earth will stain your clothing and your skin, marking you like royalty. 

You should wear it proudly, not prettily. 

Why be pretty when boys don’t have to waste their time worrying about being pretty?

What do you think they do with the extra hours they have?

I bet whatever it is, it’s really fun. I think you should find out.

Pretty can’t ride bicycles. 

Pretty can’t run foot races. 

Pretty never won a single game of UNO. 

When you are asked what you want to be when you grow up, there are words that can encompass the entire world. Words like artist and scientist. There are words that can help people and words that can teach people. Pretty can’t be your future, so why be pretty?

Why be pretty when you are already something so much bigger and brighter?

Why be pretty when world needs you to be so much more?

Why be pretty when you could be you?


  • I agree with you, and I’ve tried hard to raise my kids (both male and female) without emphasizing looks at all- not just in the things I say to them but the way I view myself too. But I think there is no way to escape the fact that looks are important in this world, and attractive people get all kinds of benefits. It’s just the way it is, and I don’t see that changing. If anything, the pressure to be attractive is much worse for my kids than it was when I was growing up- the standards are higher, people are expected to be more narcissistic. So I don’t know what the answer is, really.My daughter is now college age and she definitely feels that I’ve raised her differently from her peers, and we do talk a lot about the pressure to be thin and look a certain way. It’s tough though, because I can’t change the world, you know?


  • Very well said.


  • cindyvcordeiro

    Love the message, love the post, love the fact that you think a whole lot like I do, but you are braver than I for posting it! Thanks,


  • dancinginaugustrain



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