We’ve all been there. You get up, you look in the mirror, you scream in terror at the strange reflection you see there and then you wonder why you never noticed how weird your face is. If you’ve never screamed in terror at your reflection, or at least made a noise of disgust or exasperation then I applaud you. You’re either perfection personified, or you have a healthy appreciation of your appearance, and either one of those is good in my books.
However, for the rest of us, we have to work with what we have, and what we have may not fit the image of beauty we have in our heads. The sad thing is that we have an expectation not only from society, but from ourselves, to look ‘pretty’.
What does ‘pretty’ mean though?
Instead of trying to look a certain way, i.e pretty, how about trying to fit your body as much as possible.
Am I not making a lot of sense? Okay, let me try to explain.
I am a six ft tall lady with not a lot of curves and kind of stretched out limbs. I’ve also now got a short bob cut. Feminine isn’t really a word that can be used to describe me. When I first got my hair done I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
‘It’s very…striking.’ I thought as I looked from the mirror to my slightly anxious looking hairdresser. I wasn’t initially sure I liked it. It wasn’t ‘pretty’.
It was only after I’d had the cut for a while, smooshed it up, blasted it with hairspray and generally got used to it being on my head that I realised,
‘Maybe it’s good it’s not ‘pretty’”
Because in all honestly, ‘pretty’ doesn’t really suit me.
So why did I feel I needed to look that way? I could blame it on society and magazines and peer pressure from a young age, but honestly I think the main factor was that I simply didn’t know my body very well. My height is something I dislike most of the time so I tried to pretend it wasn’t there; that I was one of the small cute girls who pulled off the ‘pretty’ look.
I realised that looking pretty wasn’t actually a good look for me and whenever I’d tried to dress that way I’d always felt a little uncomfortable. It was as though I knew I didn’t really suit the look, but I wasn’t sure how else to dress.
Today I went out in a pair of black jeans, a plain fitted t-shirt, and minimal makeup, and honestly, I haven’t felt so comfortable with my appearance in a long time. I don’t feel like I’m playing dress up. I don’t feel like I’m trying to hide my height (which is impossible anyway), and best of all, I don’t feel like I’m not myself.
My dad always says that you either wear clothes or they wear you. If you don’t feel confident in what you’re wearing, it shows, and I feel in order to be totally confident you have to be aware of your body.
If you can’t pull off ‘striking’, ‘innocent’, ‘badass’ or even ‘pretty’ then don’t worry. If you’re short, don’t try to dress tall. If you’re tall, please, don’t try to dress like you’re short. Embracing how we are is the surest way to feel comfortable and, I feel, to look the very best we can.
Don’t dress for a style, dress for you.
But hey, that’s just some advice from a lanky, short haired weirdo.