I heard this quote on a television show a while ago. I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what it was. It was one of those evenings where you put something on for background noise while you scroll through Twitter and install new calorie counting apps. I heard this phrase and it sort of snapped me out of my little social media bubble. I knew I’d forget it so I put it straight into my notes where there is a long list of blog post ideas forming. I then sat as whatever the programme was carried on, thinking about how many times I must have thought those exact things. I think a lot of us think that exact phrase, subconsciously and unknowingly, every single day. ‘I want to be a Pretty Girl’. ‘I want to be a Skinny Girl’ ‘I want to be a curvy Girl’ ‘I want to be a Pretty Girl’. The phrase rolls over and over in our heads, synchronised to the sound of our pulse reaching the skin, like a broken record that refuses to stop, and like anything, you get used to it if it doesn’t go away. Like our noses – it’s there, in front of your eyes right now. Your eyes can see it but your brain is choosing to ignore it, because it’s so used to its being there. We all crave to be a Pretty girl, but we’ve grown up craving a curvy body, skinny legs, effortlessly bouncy and long hair, clear and beautiful skin. So we’ve forgotten what it feels like to just accept who we are and not want to change it.
We do everything to be ‘A Pretty Girl’. We buy the makeup everybody’s wearing, spending all our money in MAC for an eyeshadow we don’t actually like, and the shop assistant has looked at you like you’re a piece of dirt the entire time. We buy the clothes that are trendy, if she has adidas, I need adidas. If band tees are back in, I’m wearing band tees. We no longer are in charge of our personality, our likes and dislike. We are unknowingly told what we can and can’t wear. Say you walked out in a long skirt and yellow gilet. You’re not harming anybody, but people would look at you, following your outfit and wondering ‘why?’. Why wear that when you could wear the same thing as everybody else.
We’re slowly morphing into one another. All snap chatting our every movement, trying desperately to look like a confident and well-put-together young adult, only to crumble the moment you’re away from eyesight. We’re all obsessed with achieving the unachievable. To be admired by everybody and anybody. For strangers to stop and think, she’s beautiful.
When was it acceptable for girls to bring girls down, for anybody to bring anybody down? Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not acceptable in society. I hate tomatoes but lots of people could eat them for every meal. I don’t judge those people who’s tastebuds have developed a discreetly different way to mine. I don’t try and change them, or change mine. I don’t obsess over the apparently significant line that will be drawn between me and them if I continue to not like tomatoes. People could argue that you can’t change that, but is it really possible to change? Your personality may mature and you will grow to be more experienced and carry more wisdom, but it does not necessarily mean you’ve changed.
We all want to be a Pretty Girl. We want to live without worrying if we look at all acceptable to the social eye. We want to be able to throw any old pair of jeans on and tie our hair up and look effortlessly chic and classy. We crave the praise from others just like a dry land craves rain. Everything we do, every day, is never for us.
Without the consent and admiration of others we are non-existent.