No One Will Ever Call Me Beautiful…
I once had a boyfriend that told me he didn’t find me physically beautiful, but I had a beautiful personality. I don’t know, maybe he thought he was being romantic, trying to explain that his ‘feelings’ for me ran beyond what could be seen. For me, it confirmed a long held belief I had about myself: I was not and never would be considered beautiful. Things didn’t work out between me and him, in case you were wondering.
Throughout life I’ve gotten a lot of comments about my appearance; cute, sexy, pretty, interesting is one I’ve gotten a bit lately, and I was once compared to an elf…that one was bizarre, but I have to consider the source (LARP-er), and on Halloween several years back a horny valet boy told me I was too hot to be a witch (I said “why thank you” while thinking, “I’m not sure if that’s very professional of you, hitting on the customers like that” as I went into the German-style restaurant/bar where skinny blondes in teeny-tiny shorts with breast implants spank you for ordering a shot).
But beautiful has always been one that’s eluded me and, goddammit, sometimes a girl just needs to be told she’s beautiful.
What’s the big deal, right? One compliment is just as good as another, isn’t it? If you’ve gotten ‘cute’, ‘sexy’, ‘pretty’, aren’t those all the same thing as ‘beautiful’? They all pull up as synonyms when you type them into the thesaurus on Dictionary.com.
But tell someone you think they’re cute. Tell someone you think they’re pretty. Tell someone you think they’re sexy. Now tell someone you think they’re beautiful. Was the reaction the same? I bet it didn’t feel the same when you said. I’m even willing to bet that you didn’t say the words the same when you said them.
I had a friend, sweet girl that screwed her life all to hell, amazing personality though. She was one of those people that could walk into a room and change the entire atmosphere just by willing it so. I went out with her one night and the place we went to was dead when we got there, but – and I swear this is the truth – she literally turned it into a dance party. A lame cover band was playing, and I firmly believe that the rowdy crowd that eventually gathered was less there for them and more so because of her. That was, and I’m sure still is, her power. And one thing that she did was she loved to tell people they were beautiful.
It wasn’t everyone, but people she genuinely thought were beautiful – it wouldn’t have worked otherwise – and it wasn’t always the obvious, media-approved beautiful people, but anyone with some trait or feature that stood out above the rest, she would bluntly and earnestly tell them they were beautiful.
The reaction was unmistakable, and something I’d never witnessed before from any other compliment. It lit their faces, their entire demeanor changed, they were transformed before my eyes, they were no longer some average person going about their humdrum life but suddenly they were beautiful because she had proclaimed them so.
As I’ve said, she was a powerful person, but that reaction in them wasn’t her power. It was the power of the word, and I know this, because I’ve used it. Following her example, l have told people, perfect strangers even, that they were beautiful. Men and women, the reaction is always the same, somewhat taken aback, slightly abashed, but suddenly holding themselves more proudly, suddenly smiling more brightly, and you know their day from that moment forth is going to be a great one.
Words carry power. They hold in them a turbulence of emotions, connoted meanings that are drawn out by their mere utterance. Writers, careful craftsmen, take their time choosing each word that goes into their writing. Was the character angry or furious? Did she whimper or cry out? Did he snatch the object up or did he gently pick it up? Words considered to have the same meaning can change the entire tone of a sentence when swapped for one another.
Cute is childish, a dog is cute. It’s almost demeaning at times. Cute is a younger sibling, a baby animal, or the crayon drawing your toddler drew on the wall. Cute is never taken seriously. Pretty is a compromise. It’s non-committal. It’s a grandmother clucking her tongue and disinterestedly commenting, “You look very pretty, dear”. It just means you’re not ugly. It’s the appearance equivalent of ‘acceptable’. Sexy is…straightforward. It makes no attempt at hiding what a person wants from another. It’s objectifying to a point. It almost can’t be considered a compliment if you think about it too hard, unless it comes from someone you that are intimate with, someone you want to think of you that way.
But beautiful is all encompassing and makes no mistakes. Beautiful is pure and modest, yet it elevates above the rest. Beautiful is more than skin deep, it speaks of the soul, the heart, and the outer shell. It makes you feel all at once innocent and sensual. It cannot be misinterpreted, it does not demean, and it does not take away yet always gives in return.
Think about the words you use. When you’re writing and, more importantly, when you speak to others. And every now and then, tell someone they’re beautiful.
I should probably end this by mentioning that, as it turns out, there are people in the world that consider me beautiful and have on occasion told me as much. And if you’re like me, and you fret that no one will ever consider you beautiful, don’t worry, you are.