Don’t tell me I’m pretty.
I may sound like an ingrate,
negating to thank you profusely for your oh-so-generous compliment.
It may be well-intended.
Or maybe not.
Maybe it’s nothing but generosity on lend, with the expectation of repayment at a later date.
You’re pretty. You’re beautiful. You’re stunning.
All these people gunning to congratulate me on winning some genetic lottery.
Don’t tell me I’m pretty.
As if because I’m pretty, I have it made.
You think my life must be easy, smooth sailing.
As if batting my eyelashes and wearing short skirts means I will never experience failing.
Your flattery makes me feel good about myself, like I’m important and worthy and competent.
See, don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the compliment.
But I’m asking you, please don’t tell me I’m pretty.

Because women are so much more.

We are smart.
We are creative.
We are talented.
We are unique.
The list could go on and on, a myriad of multiplicities.
And it means so much more
to be complimented on something that was worked for
versus something that was won.
If you’d like to say something nice,
tell me I’m smart, tell me I’m creative, tell me I’m talented.
Those are the compliments that have no price.
So I’m asking you one last time, please don’t tell me I’m pretty.

Laura Halas

The author Laura Halas

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