Stop saying Pretty, please

There are a lot of things we cannot control in this life. For starters, our make-up. Our family, our heritage, where we come from. Boom. You’re born into that. You do not have a say. We also cannot control our physical make-up. Our eye color, hair texture, skin color, super fast or super slow metabolism, and the list goes on and on and on. We cannot control if math comes natural to us; we cannot control if the words and letters appear jumbled when we read. We can study hard, have tutors. We can have personal trainers and, heck, nowadays we can buy colored contacts if we are that dissatisfied with our eye color. So sure, maybe these things aren’t definite things; they’re not determinants of who we may be or not be forever. We can try and change some of those things, but ultimately, we do not initially control them.

So. Here we sit. With a ton of physical, emotional, mental things we cannot control. We got dealt these things. This is what we are working with.

If that is true, why do we judge on them? Why is so much pressure, so much emphasis, so much of our precious time spent worrying and stressing about looks, when we ultimately don’t control them? Why do people droll over silky hair, symmetrical faces, sultry eyes, when you do not control them? Why are people made fun of for acne, for being pigeon-toed, for bushy eye brows, when that is the genetic make up they’re born with?

Why is “being pretty” such a compliment, when it is merely complimenting the gene pool and chromosomes we possess? When people want to compliment appearance, I simply want to point them to Andrea and Scott–my lovely parents–because it is their compliment. My thick hair, weird earlobes, and hazel eyes all came from them. I did not earn them, nor work for them. They simply came with the rest of me.

Ladies, let’s abolish “pretty” from our vocabulary. Compliment on other things besides gorgeous faces and great clothes, because those are (literally) surface-level. Your best friend who has stood by your side through everything is not simply pretty; she is beautiful. She is gentle, tender, kind, caring, servant-minded and that–that right there–is beautiful. That is magnificent, raw, deep, beautiful.

Christ calls us His beloved. He has chosen us. He has picked us. He has paid a deep, steep, and immeasurable price for us. For our hearts. A price that holds much more weight than great cheekbones and dainty wrists.

I smile and say “thank you” when someone tells me I look nice. Yes, that is very sweet and kind. How far is that going to get me, though? Not too far. Yes, in this world, unfortunately it can sometimes seem like it gets us farther than I believe is fair. However, this life, is not about this life. This life is preparation for eternity. This life is preparation for home. Home with our Father. A home that is so deeply and intrinsically beautiful. A home that is full of “pretty” hearts. Beautiful people do not always look like they walked out of Vogue. Beautiful people, though, will be the ones that listen. The ones that care. The ones that will encourage you and be there for you, when you are down on yourself because you do not look like a woman from Vogue. Guess what. You are not suppose to. You are suppose to look like you, take care of yourself, and strive for a beautiful life–not face.

***

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” — 1 Peter 3:3-4

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” — Proverbs 31:30

Advertisements