I Am Not Pretty: Inspired by Katie Makkai's Spoken Word Poem - 'Pretty'

This amazing video by Katie Makkai, a veteran poetry slammer - defines the word 'pretty'.

You can't NOT think when you watch this. You just can't.

"This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven't a clue where to find fulfillment or how wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those 2 pretty syllables."

And you think back to ever single time you woke up early to blow-dry your hair so you liked what you saw in the mirror. To every single time the guy you liked flirted with the 'prettier' girl next to you. To the times you wished you could trade everything you had for a smaller waist, thinner legs, softer hair or better skin. To every-time you looked through your closet and wished you were born in a different body.

Those scars inflicted on you so young may get smaller - but they never fade. The awkward 14 year old inside me - who was pudgy born into a family of skinny, who was near sighted, who could never imagine anyone wanting her - she lives on. And I hold on to her for dear life. she reminds me that who I am is not defined by the size of my jeans, the highlights in my hair, or the way people look at me.

If I don't hold her tight - I will forget. And my biggest fear is forgetting that my self worth is relative to whether I like the way my hair looks this morning. I may have become 'pretty' in the way that 14-year-old wanted to be. I may have had people desire me. And I may get lost in how that feels at times. I forget that I am so much more than a body, a smile and an ability to flutter my eyelashes. It's easy. It feels good.

And then you wake up from that dream. And you realize the people who admire you - really admire you - don't admire that. They admire your confidence. They admire your determination. They want to be around you because of what is inside you - because believe me if it is the outside they want - they go away really fast.

I believe that I am smart. Confident. Determined. I talk too much. I am sarky. I make bad jokes. I get obsessive about things I love. I seem extroverted but I am a private person. And I believe - this - ALL this - makes me pretty damn amazing. And so to me it doesn't matter if you find me pretty. Not anymore.


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