Being pretty and feeling pretty can be two separate things, especially if you’re a woman. These thoughts have been coming to me recently because I’ve just started a home business, as a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. It is my job now, to sell and educate women about skincare and makeup products. I have a fabulous skincare routine now, and I’ve found that I get a self-confidence boost when I think I look particularly nice. Is that so wrong? There’s a difference between taking care in your appearance and being vain, but feeling pretty is entirely different.
Being pretty can sometimes have everything to do with how others perceive a woman, and nothing to do with how she feels about herself. Feeling pretty has everything to do with how she feels about herself and doesn’t necessarily have to come from how others see her. Some days, she will feel pretty because she is pretty. Other days, others will tell her she is pretty and she won’t believe them. It is a complicated life we women lead.
I’ll give you some examples. I used to take ballet classes in my early twenties. It was incredibly difficult to make my body do the steps and positions and I loved every minute of it. I was often sweaty and gross from the sheer workout I was putting my body through to do the barre work and leaps and twirls, and if we’re terribly honest with ourselves here, I wasn’t all that good. But I felt so pretty doing all those lovely challenging steps and moves. It was somewhere on the inside, deep down where the child-version of me still resides, that this feeling came.
Or what about the feeling a woman gets when she knows she looks good? She wears her favourite clothes, has her makeup just the way she likes it, and her hair is doing exactly what she wants it to do and BOOM! She walks around with a dazzling smile on her face and a bounce in her step and nothing can bring her down.
Society gives us a stark contrast in how we should treat pretty women. On one hand, women are told they need to wear certain clothes and shoes, they need to wear certain makeup, they should have their hair fall a certain way, in order to be accepted, to be “normal.” Women who eschew the fashionable clothes, makeup, etc are treated differently. But women who DO wear those outfits and the makeup and the shoes and the hairstyles are objectified or otherwise not taken seriously. What’s a girl to do? How’s a girl to know what’s best?
It is easy to say not to worry about what other people think of you, but that isn’t so nicely practised in real life. Our own thoughts about ourselves can destroy us or lift us up, so the wrong person’s hurtful words on the wrong day can be really damaging. When our insecurities come too strongly to the forefront, it can be hard to shake them.
If a woman feels the need to put a little mascara on to feel pretty, let her. If another is content without it, that’s fine too. We have enough insecurities in our heads to deal with flack about our choices in how we present ourselves to the world.