Saturday, August 23, 2014

Don't Call Me Pretty

I know you're probably expecting some explanation. "I'm not pretty, I'm beautiful" or something like that. But no. I really mean it. I'm tired of being called pretty.

It's been coming up a lot more recently. Like, so much so that it's almost unsettling. Over the past few months it has become incredibly rare that I get a compliment not tied to the way I look.

"Charity, you're so attractive."

"I wish I had your smile."

"Your eyes are just perfect."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not being ungrateful or making an attempt at humility or self-deprecation. I really do appreciate the sweet words. But it's started to bother me to a weird degree and this post is about why.

First of all, pretty implies a lot of things. At least in my experience with media and peers, pretty means you aren't held to the same standard of morality as so many others. If you can flash a winning smile you can get out of the speeding ticket with a warning or get the cup of coffee at a discounted price (if not for nothing at all). Pretty gets away with poor choices. Pretty gets things for free. Pretty just doesn't have to work as hard.

This is where the pretty-does-not-equal-smart stereotype comes from. Pretty learns from very early on that in life, stuff will just be handed to her. Oftentimes this means that she just doesn't strive to improve herself or sharpen her mind because she doesn't need to. Other times she may be absolutely brilliant but it gets overlooked because she has clear skin and shiny hair. Tell me honestly, how many times have you looked at a physically attractive person and unintentionally assumed that they were not too bright?

Yeah. That's what I thought.

Then there's the whole thing about looking in a mirror and having nothing but disgust for yourself in spite of what everyone says. Pretty is better according to, well, everyone. And so we shave and bleach and starve and paint and think that maybe we can someday be that. Pretty has completely consumed our society. It's eating us alive and while there have been attempts, no one really knows how to stop it.

"Don't worry, you're prettier than her."

I've been told this a handful of times before by men (and women) just trying to boost my self-image. But contrary to popular belief, it is not a compliment. It's a competition that none of us signed up for. It leads to arrogance and tearing each other down. It is so unhealthy.

But the thing that irks me the most about this is that there is so much more to me than pretty. When a person sees me or talks to me and out of all the things in the world that they could say, choose to compliment the random selection of genes that make up my outer shell, I can't help but wonder what it is that I'm doing wrong. I'm smart, I'm talented, I'm outgoing. Why does everyone only see the pretty?

So call me brilliant. Tell me I have a phenomenal singing voice or writing ability far beyond my years. Call me brave and tell me that my sense of adventure is inspiring to you. Even more than all of that, tell me that my love of my Designer makes you want to chase Him even more.

But don't call me pretty. That is not what I want my legacy to be.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Let Them Talk

Hi there. I've missed you. Let's start this off by clearing a few things up, shall we?

--I am not secretly dating two different men.

--My best friend who lives overseas is not "crazy into me".

--Likewise, I am not "crazy into him".

--Another friend who lives here and I are not in denial about our feelings for each other.

And my favorite one to debunk,

--I am not pregnant.

But you've been acting so moody lately. Don't worry, I won't judge you.

Yeah, I'm really not. I think I would know.

Are you sure?

Pretty damn. I haven't slept with anyone. Seriously. Give it a rest.

This really needs to stop. Like now.

*turns on kindergarten teacher voice*

Okay, children, gather 'round. Today we're going to talk about rumors.

*children all gasp*

*thunder sounds outside*

*cue dramatic chord*

In all seriousness though, this is kind of getting annoying. I did a pretty good job avoiding rumors and drama in high school and my naïveté convinced me that once I graduated I would leave any chance for drama in the dust. Hah.

Where is everyone coming up with this stuff? Even I am at a loss for words about a lot of it. Some of them I can sort of understand. But others are just nuts. Am I pregnant? Really, guys?

Quite honestly at this point, I don't care where the rumors started. Mostly because I don't have the energy to don my super sleuth hat and track down the sources right now. Because I haven't eaten or slept much. Because I've been busy stressing about the *insert expletive of your choice here* rumors.

Why do we as a race feel the need to be so immature? Are we really benefited at all by telling far-fetched stories about each other? And why do we believe everything we hear?

Charity Segovia is pregnant? But she's never had a boyfriend or even her first kiss! How did she manage that? Oh well. I guess I'd better tell all of my closest friends about it.

I think that one probably started out as a joke because I like to metaphorically adopt my friends because I really want kids. One way or another, it doesn't matter much. Like I said, I don't really care where they started. I care about the fact that they did.

I had a conversation with Jesus about this recently in the hopes of finding some peace amidst it all.

What are you going to do about the rumors, Charity?

Daddy, I really don't know if there's anything I can do. I have to do something though!

Do you?

Yes! People are talking!

And when have people's words or opinions ever bothered you before? You know the truth. I do to. That's all that matters.

*sigh of exasperation*

He's right. He always is right about things. I really haven't ever cared what people think. Why should I start now?

So I say let them talk. People will say and believe what they want and I can't stop them. The ones who really know me will believe the truth. The ones who want to will bring it up with me directly. And as for everyone else, well, I'm sorry that you are so bored with your life that you find the need to embellish mine. I play my tiny violin for you.

Have a good day. And please try not to ruin anyone else's by spreading rumors.

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