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I am thinking a lot about pretty.

All my life, I have aspired to be seen as acceptable in your eyes.

“Don’t you look pretty?” You would say and I would think to myself, I passed. I have successfully maintained the correct weight, applied the right combination of make-up, shaped my hair and chose clothing that has qualified me to be loveable.

Beautiful, pretty, hot, gorgeous… This label has been the carrot that I have perpetually chased.

Love has been a race.

Fasting, restricting, injecting, dying, plucking, tinting, shadowing, highlighting, blow drying, straightening, curling, squatting, lifting, painting, applying.

The older I get the faster I must go.

Sitting in a chair for precious hours. Hours that could be spent writing, growing, creating, loving.

All so I can qualify as a 47 years old “beauty.”

A mother someone would like to fuck.

I have given away my time.
I have given away my money.
I have given away my ability to source worth from the core of WHO I AM.

For years I have believed myself to be an empty vessel only to be filled by the approval of those I love the most IF, and only if, I successfully live up to THE fantasy.

I have given myself over to standards that were never mine. Standards shaped by a culture that wants to profit from my disconnection with the core of myself. Standards that require me to run ever faster and work ever harder the older and wiser I become.

How ironic.

You tricked me into thinking I had to run.

But you can have your carrot.

I am not yours.

This is my body.

My hair.

My face.

I gave it to you.

But I am taking it back.

It is all for me.

If you like it, fine.

If you don’t, I guess we will see if the love was really ever love. Or if it was only ever a fantasy.

I am no longer your princess, your beauty queen, your girl next door.

I don’t care if you think I’m pretty or beautiful, hot or gorgeous.

I am mine to do with as I please. To embellish exactly how and if I desire to do so.

The love was always mine. I just didn’t understand that.

I will see myself through my own eyes now.

I am not a fantasy. I am flesh and bones and pure potential.

I know what is true.

I am beautiful at my core.