Natural Prettiness

Katie - Gainesville, Florida
Entered on January 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’m in high school. What a statement. Even though I go to a small school with a class of about 125, all the aspects are still there. Girls like guys who like other girls who certain girls think aren’t so pretty, and so on. I want to touch on that business of “pretty.” I don’t understand that word. Pretty. Beautiful. Handsome. Hot. Sexy. Attractive. I don’t understand them and I don’t like them. I don’t like the “one to ten” rating system that some guys at my school use to describe a girl. I have honestly never heard anyone say, “Her eyes remind me of the ocean.” or “His smile makes the sun shine.” I hear empty things like “He’s so cute” or “She’s about a three, three and a half.” For about five years, since grade six, I have been trying to grasp the exact definition of pretty, and I bet I’m not the only girl. My view on prettiness has changed countless numbers of times since then. But in my first year in high school, I made my final decision.

I’m not going to lie and say I was, quote, “ugly.” I just remember I didn’t like myself at all. I just KNEW that I needed mountains of makeup to sculpt my face into something better. I was plain ignorant, looking back on myself. Every morning I would apply layers and layers of makeup to my face. I had the whole shebang going on. Liquid consealer, powder, eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush, different powders to make my nose look smaller, anything to make me not look like me. I was trying to prove to myself, above all others, that I was beautiful. I was sure that someone at this new school would like me, how could they not? I spent all this time making myself up, and I deserved some attention.

I was so tired one morning, that I forgot it at home. I felt so naked; I had no protection. I was devastated. I just knew everyone would notice. To my surprise, while I was scurrying to class, I bumped into someone. It was the classic ‘papers flying, books falling, coffee spilling’ routine. It wasn’t the experience that mattered, but it was one sentence. One life-changing sentence that made me realize something that I’ll keep with me forever. “Whoa, your eyes are really blue.” WHAT? He didn’t stare at my naked face in disgust? Later looking in the mirror, I thought to myself, “I do have blue eyes.” I liked my blue eyes. And I liked how they contrasted with my natural skin tone. I gingerly began to wear less makeup. I felt kind of powerful thinking “hey world! I have a little pimple on my nose and YOU don’t!”

By now, my sophomore year, I wear almost no makeup. I want to scream to fellow teens, “You are beautiful! Don’t hide yourself!” I believe all teenagers are automatically pretty, without all that makeup. I believe in teenage beauty.