The Pretty Girl Stereotypes (BUSTED!)

drafthouse.com
drafthouse.com

We have all seen the movies with the pretty girl that has it all. She is beautiful, sexy, well dressed, popular, in a relationship with some hunky dude, she pays people to do her dirty work (homework, test, job assignments, etc) because she is too stupid to do it, she always gets her way, and she never eats. If I had to name a movie off the top of my head, I would say Mean Girls is a pretty appropriate example of what I mean when I described the stereotypical pretty girl.

I am extremely over the misconceptions made about the “pretty girls.” I am guilty of assuming these things when I see girl I consider to be “too pretty,” but one day I woke up and realized I was that pretty girl. Before you carry on reading this thinking that I am full of myself…hear me out…

As a young girl, preteen/young teenager age, I didn’t have a whole lot going for me. I was always just a little bit too fat, my teeth were crazy, I had no idea what I was doing with my makeup, my sense of fashion was a train wreck, I wasn’t doing all that well in school, boys bullied me relentlessly (middle school jerktards), and my overall self confidence was garbage.

I used to watch the naturally skinny girls with clear skinned smiles who had the boys drooling over them as if they were the lepers. Immediately I attached the stereotypical, Mean Girls, pretty girl label on them, because it almost made me feel better to have a reason to hate myself, and them. I envied them, I wanted nothing more than to be the pretty girl, and then one day….

I lost loads of weight, got my braces off, watched endless makeup tutorials until I got it all right, learned to dress my figure, earned my perfect GPA, shut all those boys up, and learned to love myself. Oh. M. Gee. I became the pretty girl. I became the girl everyone loves to hate…and you know what…it sucks! It sucks, SO hard!

Why? Well, let’s examine the pretty girl stereotypes and destroy each one to fully discover why it is that I wish I had braces again….

1. Pretty girls get all the attractive guys.

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. I remember feeling a bit irritated by an innocent comment made by one of the few pre-teens I have as a Facebook friend.

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I posted this photo and she commented with “You’re so pretty Lucy. Tons of guys are probably head over heels for you!” I laughed…and then got angry as more and more people began to like her comment.

Why? Because part of me thought she should be right. Part of me thought “I look freakin’ hot today, and everybody who has ever seen Mean Girls knows I should be adored by every male that lays his eyes on me?!” But there I was, and the other part of me was thinking, adore me? Dude, I’ll take like me, or even speak to me.

My break up with Simon was fresh, and her comment poured salt in the massive wound that was my heart, because regardless of how pretty she thought I was, it wasn’t enough to make him love me. I felt pretty, and beautifully empty. My beauty didn’t buy me love, it really didn’t even buy me happiness. I busted the myth that pretty girls always get the guy, because in reality, at the height of my attractiveness, I was more alone than chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy ever was.

I’ll go a step further and say that Simon fell in love with chubby/ugly/frumpy Lucy, and broke up with the pretty girl version.

2. Pretty girls have loads of friends

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They say that every group of friends needs the ugly girl to make them all look better…well, I was the ugly friend. I was the ugly duckling in a pond full of swans. I thought I had loads of friends because I have a cool personality, but as I became the pretty girl, I realized that was not the case. I stopped being their charity case, and became the girl their boyfriends wanted to hang out with. My friends turned into “haters,” and I wasn’t quite sure what I had done.

Years later I realized that it had nothing to do with me. My personality didn’t change… I was still the overly weird girl, who wasn’t afraid to release my man laugh if the joke was good enough.  I just became a threat, and they began to tear me down and make me feel as if I was the problem.It was then I realized that I needed friends that were secure in themselves. I needed friends that would encourage me to blossom and reach my full potential.

I needed friends that would compliment my outfit, tell me I looked pretty, and be genuinely happy for me instead of spitting it through gritted teeth. It was and still is very hard for me to ever think anyone could be jealous of me (because I am still half Oompa Loompa in my mind) but after a few major hits to my self esteem, I began to realize that being pretty does not win you friendship, it brings jealously from most, and genuinely wonderful friendships from the rest.

As the pretty girl, I have less friends than I ever have, and I am happy with that. The friends I have now want to see me succeed,they want to see me happy, they build me up, and one by one, I add another genuinely wonderful and loving friend to my group, cautiously.

3. Pretty girls are stupid.

Same outfit, different day
Same outfit, different day

A few weeks ago, I met with the honors program coordinator at my college. I was bubbling with excitement, as I waited for my meeting with her to finalize my induction into the honor society. I dressed in my usual Lucy fashion (I tend to err on the slightly overdressed but professional side of things), did my hair in a pretty, but modest style, and kept my make up as subdued as possible. I walked into her office, handed her my transcripts and my portfolio, and shook on the inside as she reviewed all of my information.

“You’re too pretty to be in this honors program,” she said in a joking manner with a slight chuckle under her breath. At first I smiled with her as I took it to be a compliment, but a few hours later, it actually really insulted me.  I was really hoping she would’ve commented on something important, like, ooooh my GPA, the exam results I stayed up until three in the morning studying for, or even my community service with domestic violence victims. But instead she felt the need to tell me I was too pretty to have the sort of accomplishments that I had.

I would love to say that it is just her, but to be honest, there is something about a woman that knows how to apply a bit of make up, pop on a pair of spanks and hold an intelligent conversation that really freaks people out. I am very ambitious, I have very well formed opinions, and there are very few things in this world that make me happier (or more heated) than a conversation with a person who challenges those opinions and forces me to think. So for her to just whittle me down to pretty face and assume that I couldn’t possibly be as smart as the transcripts in front of her described, was infuriating, insulting, and above the rest, disappointing.

4. Pretty girls have the perfect life. 

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No. No. No. There are some days I wish I could just be the version of myself I was too busy hating. Sometimes I wish I could go back and enjoy that time in my life. I wish I could go back and tell fourteen/fifteen year old Lucy that her idea of perfection wasn’t going to win her the handsome boyfriend, a million friends, and loads of respect. I wish I could tell her that there is more to life than that. I wish I could tell her that sometimes being the pretty girl makes life harder than it needs to be. I wish she knew that the clear skinned girls she hated in high school were not nearly as fortunate as she gave them credit for. Most importantly, I wish she knew that happiness, true love, genuine friendship, and respect, are more important than straight teeth, clear skin, and a number on the scale.

Solution:

You will always find that girl who seems to have the perfect life, but as I’ve just told you, things are not always as they seem. Being the pretty girl doesn’t make life better, as a matter of fact, sometimes it gets worse. Be encouraged that you are worth more than what you look like, because pretty girls have awful days, sometimes awful lives, and no amount of physical beauty can fix that. By the same token, there are pretty girls that really do have it all going for them, but just in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, it wasn’t their face that brought them that life.

Work on yourself, so that when you finally achieve your perfect life, you will be beautiful from the inside, out, instead of just on the outside like a Mean Girls character. Work on yourself, become who you want to become, and I guarantee that the right guy, the right friends, and that picture perfect life you dream about, will find it’s way to you, sans burn book.

P.S. #5 Pretty Girls Don’t Eat

I love ice cream, and burgers make me giddier than a school girl.

If you feel the need to live on a diet, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems, but being hungry ain’t one.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 9.32.11 AM
Lettuce wrapped burger, because bread is one of the 99 problems I have

That is all.

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