i feel pretty - unpretty

Thursday, 15 June 2017

She said to me,
'You're almost pretty, but not quite.'

I never thought I was pretty.

I wished I were but I’ve looked at my reflection long enough to realise it would never be.

Instead, I forced myself to try. Artificially, superficially, pretty. I caged my teeth in metal terrains for three years. I starved my waist three inches in three months. I hid my bruises beneath bright dresses. I started to smile more. People began to notice me.

It is then I wondered.

Is this what pretty feels like?

More often than not, I find myself scrolling through social media. Instagram is my poison of choice. I catch glimpses of girls I want to be and girls I envy. Some girls are both, so beautiful and refined. Effortless in their confidence. I love girls like her.

I catch myself asking, why can't I be like her?

This is when I decide to switch my phone off, and place it on the bedside table. I walk to my bathroom and wash the makeup off. Mascara runs past my cheeks, lipstick smeared and skin turns sallow. I catch a glimpse of my bare face in the mirror. I don't recognise myself.

I turn off the light and go back to bed. I pick up my phone and continue scrolling through.

I'm not pretty. I wish I were.

This is my face without makeup.

Apart from a bit of mascara and eyebrows penciled in, this is my bare skin. I've never never taken a photo of myself like this. Sitting in front of a camera, no intention to hide my flaws. It terrifies me to see my naked face online. It disappoints me to know I feel this way.

I have never liked my appearance.

These insecurities manifested when I was young, and still persist today. I wish my face was slimmer, teeth a little bigger and nose less round. These are constants. Sometimes, I ask for lighter eyes or fairer skin. Other times, I want to change the whole of me. Rationally, I know it is foolish self-loathing. Irrationally, I know it is still self-loathing.

I want to start feeling pretty. To look in the mirror and accept what I see. A young girl, almost pretty but not quite, with tired eyes and face too round. Skin a little sickly and lips cracked.

I may not be pretty, but I can try to feel pretty.

scarf : lyys' closet   |   shirt : zara

To be pretty is subjective. To feel pretty is to accept.

I admit my flaws but recognise my features. My eyes are expressive. My skin is clear. My nose is cute. I may not like my appearance yet but I can learn to accept it. I can learn to feel pretty.

Maybe then, I might actually be pretty.

what makes you feel pretty?

with love, Bash