Prettyposted on March 4th, 2013 / by Heather Spivey / 5 Comments
“My daughter will never be JUST pretty” – Me.
I can’t even figure out how to wrangle all the thoughts swimming around in my head right now but in all honestly it begins with the word PRETTY.
I remember being around 10 yrs old watching my grandmother and mother carefully apply their makeup before they would even think about leaving the house and thinking how pretty they looked.
How movie stars were on a whole other “beauty” level…..sigh. If only someday I could look like that. To be that pretty and glamorous was my biggest dream in life.
Now let me paint a picture of what I looked like.
I was scrawny, stringy hair, freckled face, buck toothed with a gap and we can’t forget the uni-brow, Lord knows I never did! I did get that all fixed but I was teased mercilessly by other girls and rarely ever did anyone ever tell me I was pretty or even cute.
For a long time I also used makeup to cover up my real self, my real pretty.
I would have given ANYTHING to just be pretty like someone in a magazine or in the movies.
Fast forward 23 years…. I’m now 5 1/2 months pregnant with a GIRL.
My whole adult life I’ve imagined what my future babies would be like and I never once, nope, not one single time did I think I would have a girl! I didn’t think God would do something like that to me.
I know that sounds horrible and mean but I’ve lived thru sexual, emotional, verbal and physical abuse, a severe eating disorder that I still struggle while starving myself for years, body dimorphic disorder to the point that its hard for me to look in a mirror. I’ve been previously married. Modeled and was approached by Guess, Maxim and Playboy. And I have done makeup for prom girls for 10 years and have heard exactly what they hide from their parents…. This list could go on and on and on.
My mind was so filled with all those things that it literally took me 3 or 4 days to accept that I was having a little girl and honestly, I got a little mad at God. Why would He do that to me?
Late one night I was laying in bed thinking thru all those delightful past experiences and I cried out to my Heavenly Daddy and asked Him WHY?
II guess I expected a big dramatic explanation but all I heard was,
“She’s not you or anyone else and she will be so much more than just pretty”.
I now realize the great gift God is giving my by allowing me to birth, nurture and mold my sweet baby girls life.
A. Pleasing or attractive in a graceful or delicate way.
Pretty is not a dirty word. Pretty is not a social status. Pretty does not equal or define sexuality. Pretty is not made with makeup. Pretty does not define or add value to a person.
Right then and there I determined not to let my past define my baby Emma’s future!
She will be…
a. Having great reverence for God; pious.
a. Full of love; loving.
b. Inspiring love or affection.
c. Having beauty that appeals to the emotions as well as to the eye.
d. Enjoyable; delightful.
a. Having qualities that delight the senses.
b. Excellent; wonderful.
a. Undisturbed by strife, turmoil, or disagreement; tranquil.
b. Inclined or disposed to peace; peaceable.
c. Of or characteristic of a condition of peace.
(My fave:) Smart:
a. Characterized by sharp quick thought; bright.
b. Amusingly clever; witty: a smart quip; a lively, smart conversation.
c. Energetic or quick in movement: a smart pace.
d. Canny and shrewd in dealings with others: a smart negotiator.
e. Fashionable; elegant: a smart suit; a smart restaurant; the smart set.
a. Having force of character, will, morality, or intelligence: a strong personality.
Annnnnd so many more things.
She will know what true beauty is and will be able to find, see and nurture beauty in others.
She will look at the women that surround her and will see what really beautiful women look like!
One day a couple weeks ago I found a video on YouTube that spoke to my soul and I’m attaching it to this.
I’m also adding the actual printed words at the bottom.
Take a minute to watch the video. She has so much passion…watching her I actually FELT her word for word in my heart..
If you’ve never been in similar shoes it might be hard to relate to this and I might be judged for saying some of this and that’s ok. Even if you haven’t, maybe you will look at little girls in a new light.
You are the women our little girls, my little girl, will look up to for wisdom, grace and guidance.
You show them what’s truly pretty and beautiful!
Here are the real faces of “Pretty”
Kate Makki “Pretty”
Ps. The end is where I want to do a church dance.
When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother “What will I be? Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry.
“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty? But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dry add: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long, and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting my poor mother.
“How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.” “You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! ” “You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been fine! ”
Don’t worry; we will get it all fixed she would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that as if it were a cabbage she might buy. But, this is not about her. Not her fault she, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable appearance.
By sixteen I was pickled by ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed. Face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.
Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist, like my body screaming at me from the inside out “What did you let them do to you? ” All the while, this never ending chorus groaning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.
“Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.
And now I have not seen my own face in ten years. I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me! This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl thirty stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those two pretty syllables.
This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? , ” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer no.
The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely “pretty.”