pretty vs smart

I’m not about to convince anyone that I’m a genius, but I am prepared to say that I’ve got a few brain cells to rub together. High school made me believe for a long time that being attractive was the most important thing you could achieve because if people were attracted to you then it didn’t matter what came out of your mouth. People would always be willing to spend time with you because looking at you was so enjoyable. The real world has (thankfully) made me realise that the novelty of a pretty face wears off pretty quickly if it’s not matched with some degree of intelligence.

I’ve never thought of myself as the “pretty girl”. I look at my face and see my family, I see the photos from back when I was a kid and I can barely tell myself apart from my cousins, I see the shadows under my eyes and the scars and a nose that could stand to be a bit smaller, but it’s just my face. It’s what I’ve always looked like and it’s never really occurred to me to think about changing it.

Today is a good day, so right now I’m glad I was never the most attractive person in the room. I’m glad that I (mostly) care more about looking like I belong in my family than looking like I belong on the cover of a magazine. I’m glad that I never learnt to rely on my looks to get by. I’m glad that I can listen to someone explain html code and be genuinely interested. I’m glad that I’m average enough to sway someone’s opinion of me just because of what’s in my head. I’m glad that I love reading and learning and geeking out over anything from music to photography to Baudelaire to skyscrapers designed to move with an earthquake.

This isn’t to say I won’t wake up tomorrow wishing I looked like a Victoria’s Secret model, but writing this entry has made me realise how much I’ve changed over the last 10 years and…I’m still glad. Let’s pause here for a group hug.


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