I’ve never liked being called “pretty”. It is, and will always be, a loaded word for me because “pretty” refers to these light, almost ephemeral, girls – women, really – who are feminine and…
That’s not me. Well, not completely.
Call me dashing (but not handsome). Call me good-looking (but cute is pushing it). Rugged, austere, roguish, all of those are fine, but they’re words that address this internally…masculine? part of me. They don’t pull me into this female world in which I’m like a legless newborn fawn; they don’t pull me into a world where I am the bull in the china shop.
But, I know, objectively, that I can be pretty… Nonetheless, being told that, called that–I wear that compliment uncomfortably on my shoulders. Pretty doesn’t match with “linebacker in a tutu”, as my brother once jokingly called me when I decided to try on a tank top with spaghetti straps.
(I have never worn spaghetti straps again. Ever.)
So, that’s why when I met this woman who, so softly, called me pretty, I was struck by the fact that it didn’t bother me. It makes me think that I’m growing as a person, that once day I’ll be able to fully accept all parts of this spectrum that I live and exist on.
Also, it could have been because I was ridiculously attracted to her, but what I must also admit and submit, with that, is the fact that not only did it not bother me, she made me feel pretty.
Everyone should have someone who makes them feel that way, and that’s not about feminine or masculine, left-of-center, center-of-center, or right-of; it’s about having someone who perhaps sees you in a way larger than you see yourself.
We are all so good at putting ourselves in boxes. Find someone who takes you out of it.