Pretty Girl Problems

She wouldn't trade her prettiness in for self-esteem, financial independence, or the Pulitzer Prize.

by susan frei • Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

There are too many advantages to being pretty. Now that I am older I hope that I will use them judiciously. Despite the haunting image of my teens, I finally accept the fact that I am pretty and will probably always be so. I also know how many women fall into the "prettiness trap," which includes always having to live up to that image to yourself because all your life has been determined by how others see you. And it's a trap, like any trap you feel constricted, confined caught in a situation you weren't sure you knew how to handle and are forever stuck with. I am trapped in my own prettiness.

You will never catch me in the supermarket without make-up. I will always be glancing surreptitiously at the mirror. I will unceasingly wrestle with the conflict of seeing that 13-year-old face, knowing that she is gone forever and that I use my pretty face as an advantage to make more of my life that it otherwise would have been if I had been unattractive. The rest of my life will revolve around this issue.

But I must confess, I think it is a sad state to be in. I find myself wishing I were 60 and let the grey hair in, maybe it would free me because then people would have to see me and not my appearance. But who am I kidding? Ageism is as rampant as sexism. I think my life could be so much more if I weren't caught in the pretty trap but my final confession is that no, I wouldn't trade my prettiness in for self-esteem, financial independence or the Pulitzer Prize. My looks are what I know best. But I must also confess, that I am not proud of this fact.

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