When I grew up, when I grew up.
"Different" she said, "With a special something
And a very, very personal flair."
"Different" is nice, but it sure isn't pretty
Pretty is what it's about.
I never met anyone who was "different"
Who couldn't figure that out.
So beautiful, I'd never live to see.
The above are lyrics from the song "At The Ballet" from A Chorus Line and ever since I first saw the movie (no, I've never seen it on stage), these lyrics pierced me through the heart because it conveyed exactly how I felt, and the words have stuck with me after 27 years.
I have never in my entire life felt pretty. I don't ever remember being told I was pretty growing up and I thought (part of still thinks) the reason I never had a boyfriend in school and have remained single is because I am not pretty.
I understand that some of you might be thinking that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While that can be true, there are also some realities. Reality: attractive people make more money. Reality: teachers call on attractive students more and deem them smarter. Reality: in movies and TV good things generally tend to happen to the attractive characters while bad things happen to the unattractive ones. We live in a superficial society where the standards of beauty are narrow indeed. Or that's the way it feels when one is on the outside of pretty.
However, I am trying to take my power back. I have gained much strength and a bit of calmness about things from this video: Katie Makkai - Pretty. It brings me to tears every single time I watch it, but it helps me feel less alone in my unpretty world and helps me to see that this is something that a lot of us struggle with. I'm not sure I'll ever conquer this feeing of being unpretty. I hope I can. I hope I can be confident in who I am and accept that perhaps everyone (me included) is really beautiful in her own way. I see it in others. I just struggle to see it within myself.