Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On "Pretty"

"You got a bit fat. You must thin out soon, or you'll not get any suitors."

My father's female officemate said that to me once. I didn't expect a comment like that to hurt. It did at that time.

These are things about me: I'm 18 and a girl. Yes, until now no one has expressed any interest in me, nor am I interested. I look at my friends that have had relationships and decided its all a waste of time. I'd rather study than waste emotions to petty arguments and shit. Yeah, I know some may say that I'm emotionally repressed, that the 'right person' will come, but no thanks.

Its the comment. That time I didn't answer, but like all good answers, it only came to my mind later. I should've said: "So, you mean I need something called a suitor? So I need to loose some pounds before I get one?" So she was implying, that I have to be prettier by being thinner. So a boyfriend is proof that you're pretty enough. I heard it more than once from a telenovela, you're beautiful, so why don't you have a boyfriend?

Still, the pressure to be pretty. Good-looking. and (how I dislike the word) Hot.

In elementary, a friend played a game of classifying our female classmates to "Beautiful", "Cute", "Charming", and "Sexy". I don't know whatever definition she made up for it, but she said that I'm only in the 'cute' category because my face is not right.

The idea for another game was from a movie that has a serial killer that cuts off the more desirable body parts of her victims and stitches them all up to create a 'perfect person'. We would choose who has the best body part among our classmates and imagine the result. Yes, its creepy to me now, how we were metaphorically cutting off limbs from our classmates in imagination. She said my hands and feet are perfect, but as I remember it now I only feel a phantom rotating blade of a chainsaw and my hands and feet cut off, with blood and broken bones, and what a scary game to be played by twelve-year-olds. (And the arms would be from... R's legs are gorgeous... H's hair!)

It was only the start of metaphorical amputating. Imagine my horror when the same friend told us girls what the boys in class thought of our bodies (may I remind you, we were 12 year olds), with phrases like "her breasts and butt are too small or too big" with gestures of hands in the air drawing curves of body shapes. To them, it was funny. I started being uncomfortable about my body. I guess, that stage starts at puberty, and some of it continues until now.

It was degrading, being judged by inadequate body parts. Maybe its worse now.

The girl who made up those games isn't here now, isn't my friend anymore. She was the popular one, got five boyfriends at a time even in high school. The downside were her failing grades. About a year ago, her Facebook was filled with arguments with her current boyfriend about her cheating, and asking for advice from someone... I wish I didn't bother. That's what I dislike whe I'm on that site, because I keep on reading about things I'm better not knowing. We're veering off-topic again.

Read on "The Golden Ratio"

In another magazine article about beauty saying that an attractive face is one that is in proportion and symmetrical, it shows a woman's face with mapped white lines. One phrase that bothered me was, being attractive was being 'ahead of the game'. What game? Getting the most attention, compliments, and suitors?

I have another friend, who I think is beautiful. Still, she says that if she sees someone very pretty she starts having insecure feelings and wishing she was her. I thought I was bad with the insecurity, but I won't get to the point of wishing I was another person. This friend seems to have the opinion that good-looking ones are ahead of the food chain. Or the game, whatever that is. "Daw si sin-o guid sya, law-ay man!" ("She acts like she's so above us, she's ugly!"), kag ang sabat ko naman ya, "Bale ang mga gwapa lang pwede ka-pa-daw-si-sin-o?" (and my answer would be, "So its the beautiful ones who have the right to act nasty?").

But this trend and attitude is seen as normal, and this rant... may sound like I'm bitter or jealous. I used to be. I just remembered a simple comment that got me thinking about 'pretty'. Its been told to us many times that inner is better than outer beauty, I'm not so far gone to suggest to imagine a world where everyone is blind.

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