• Natali Rose

Don’t Call Me Pretty

“Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world as a woman.”

After going to a hairstylist with a daring and sassy new hairstyle in mind, some miscommunication resulted in an extremely short, extremely different hairstyle than I had ever wanted. After crying for two days over it, I decided to brush myself off and try to make it work. The hairstyle did begin to grow on me (pun intended). But after about a month, the asymmetrical pixie cut was growing into my face and I decided to go somewhere else to fix this.

We went shorter.

On the one side, I do love my new hairstyle. It’s short enough to stay out of my face. When I wake up in the morning, all I have to do is wet it down and put some paste in it, and tousle it a bit. And bam, done! On the other side of the token, I feel as though I have lost my femininity. Suddenly, I am wearing makeup everyday, which I never do unless I’m performing or have business meetings. Wearing earrings and doing what I can to off-set this masculine hairstyle. Until I came across a meme today that said, “Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world as a woman.”

One more time for the people in the back: “Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world as a woman.”

Holy shit – that resonates with me hard. How many times have I looked at my body and hated the pouch left on my belly from having babies? That very same belly that my babies laid their sleepy heads on after nursing to sleep. Or my wide nose and crooked teeth. How many times have I hid my smile in shame of my teeth that stick out a bit too far? How many times have I stood frustrated in front of the mirror because I couldn’t get my cow lick to lay down right, or my eyeliner on straight, or stared at my fingernails that I bit off?

I am a woman, yes. But these burdens do not belong to me. It is not my responsibility to look presentable to you or anyone else. My beauty comes from within.

And to my sisters who carry these same burdens and pressures – let’s lift each other up.

Next time you see me at Walmart looking ratchet as hell – I wanna get a “Yaaass, Queen!”.

#mentalhealth #pretty #advocate #beauty #empowerwomen #patriarchy #stigma

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