Not Pretty

“Do you think i am pretty?” Bryonna asked me and my heart stopped for a second. We had started a sweet connection while she was visiting Acorn and our relationship was growing.  And i have a personal commitment to not lie to my intimates. “Actually, no. Pretty is a cultural construct and i am a product of my upbringing.  What i mostly find pretty mimics the white models and actresses from decades of advertising and films.  You have classical black features, large lips, tight curly hair.  This is not what i have been encultured to find as pretty.”

Yes, i know you think she is pretty

Yes, i know you think she is pretty

No one wants to hear that they are not pretty.  And while Bryonna appreciated my honesty, we stumbled around about this for a while. It also set me on this path of self reflection about the different aspects of attraction.  i certainly am attracted to Bryonna, who is charming and fun.  She is poly and smart enough to understand the pitfalls of being involved with me even before i brought most of them up.

Love Pikachu fans

Love Pikachu fans

And there is a tyranny of the beauty model which is stuck in my brain.  The media machines which help formulate our perceptions of beauty are trying to be unfair.  Almost every woman i have been involved with wrestled with her appearance and not fitting some idealized beauty standard which at least slightly poisoned her self esteem. Can you reprogram your ideas of what physical attractiveness is?  One could of course go on a low media diet and advertising plays a much smaller role in my current life than it did in my earlier years.  We can step out of what Hollywood and Madison Avenue tell us is important in people (who they appear) and instead prioritize our attractions based on their character and our personal chemistry.


This is how she will look next summer

And as is true of the best struggles, this stumble exposed vulnerabilities, unraveled prejudices, healed damage and grew us a bit closer to each other.  And that is truly beautiful.