J and I were sitting at church, waiting for service to begin. A perky lady came over to introduce herself. She greeted us then said, “Well, aren’t you a pretty little thing!” I looked over at J’s daughter, thinking she was talking to her. She was talking to me. Really? Me? Pretty?
I don’t know when it happened but I lost the concept of being pretty. In fact, I’m not sure if I ever knew what “pretty” really meant. When my twin sister and I were kids, I always thought I was the ugly twin, even though, clearly, we were identical. We would look in the mirror at our similarities and differences’; determining which one of us was pretty. I had dimples, Twin 2 didn’t. She had an awesome beauty mark, I didn’t. For a few years, (thanks to knocking my four front teeth out, at the age of 4), I was without teeth, while she had hers. I was the one that was gifted with bad eyesight so by age 8, I wore thick glasses (which resembled stop signs). I put them on as I got out of the car but the moment my mom drove away, they were tucked away in my pencil case.
Kids aren’t born seeing the beauty the way adults see beauty. I have lost count of the many times my daughters handed me a weed and said, “I brought you a pretty flower.” The hand that was holding it out to me saw it as pretty.
My niece Mariah is gorgeous and cute at the same time. She's 16...the very age where most teens are identified by the clothes they wear and the styles they choose and the people they hang with. No matter how many times she is told she is pretty, she doesn't believe it. Her smile radiates across the room, yet, she wakes up in the morning and says, "Ewww, I'm so ugly! I'll never have a boyfriend." No matter what she is told, she still believes she isn't pretty.
I started thinking about the first time I realized ugly. It was when I was three years old. This boy pulled his eyelids down and rolled his eyeballs to scare me. He succeeded! Not only was he scary but at that moment, he was pee in my pants ugly!
The more I thought about this ugly vs. pretty thing...I wondered who held the deciding factor of what was pretty? What would happen if ugly was pretty and pretty was ugly? (Sorta like a Twilight Zone episode.) Would we, could we, start a trend? Could we change the world's view of what really is significant? Is it possible to see life through the eye of an artist or a photographer, viewing everything around us as magnificent?
I challenge you today to look for something that would be considered by typical standards as being ugly, and see it for what it is, pretty. What do you perceive differently now, after reading this blog post?