YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PRETTY

by - August 11, 2018



Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world as a woman.
~ Diana Vreeland
Almost every girl wants to be pretty, but very few actually feel that they measure up.  Images of “beautiful” women and girls on constantly shoved down our throats.  In the movies we watch, the people we follow and every advertisement out there.  We must have frizz free hair, clear skin, perfect teeth and a toned body.
What about brains or infectious laughter?  What happened to being pretty because of a pure heart?

When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina.  I mean, what girl didn’t dream of that at one point?  I loved how beautiful and graceful the ballerinas looked in their fancy tutus and pointe shoes. 
My aunt would always send ballerina clothes in the mail for Christmas or my birthday, so that I could enjoy dressing up. 
I would dance around the house, probably looking more like a baby goat than a ballerina, but I felt pretty. 




A few years later my mom, sister and I went to a ministry for mothers and daughters.  During one of the speeches the lady told everyone to close their eyes, and for the girls to put their hand on one body part we didn’t like about ourselves.

I didn’t close my eyes (such a rebel) , but looked around to see what other girls were doing.  I left my hands at my side because the thought of not liking my body was absurd to me.  I suddenly felt awkward because there was nothing I disliked about myself.

Later, on the car ride home I tried to think of things I didn’t like, but all I could think of was things I did like.  I loved my long legs because I was faster than my friends.  I loved my long hair because it made me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I liked my blue eyes and strong hands and feet.  Surely there was something wrong with me, but I couldn’t seem to find it.

Fast forward to last year.  When I looked it the mirror at 14 I could find countless flaws.  My weak jaw, blemished skin, my large hands, thin wrists, not flat stomach and ears that stuck out.
I didn’t think about how fast my legs could carry me or how those hands could sew perfect stitches. 
To me, none of that mattered if I wasn’t pretty.

So, what changed?  What made me change from finding zero faults with my body to scrutinizing it left and right?

I grew up.  Not all the way, but I definitely started to.  I noticed other people’s bodies and how mine didn’t look like theirs.  I noticed that pretty girls looked one way and ugly ones looked another.   


This year has been a year full of growth.  I’ve learned that you do not have to look pretty, to be beautiful.

No one expects you to look perfect or will like to any less when they see that you aren’t.  My skin sill has blemishes.  My arms still have “too much” hair.  I don’t look any different than before, maybe just a little taller.  But I am perfect.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized you do not have to be pretty.  The appearance of a person means nothing to someone who is blind.  You and I and that girls over there are under no obligation to be pretty.

Pretty is overrated.  I want to be seen as beautiful because of my character.  I want people to think my mind is lovely.  And my wish is that someday you will forget about every flaw you found in the perfection God created. 



Do you feel pretty?  Why or why not?  What’s something you’ve been learning recently?
~ Ella Marie

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33 comments

  1. I resisted the urge to jump up and down because THIS. THIS POST. "I want to be seen as beautiful because of my character." That’s the line that got me. I feel like our society puts too much emphasis on physical beauty, but not enough on "personality beauty."

    Great post, Ella Marie! <3

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    1. OH MY GOSH, THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY TO HEAR!!! Yes, it can be suficating to follow the world's "rules," when Jesus has already set us free! Thank you for your lovely comment, Nicole! <3

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  2. I just realized that when we read books, we ususally aren't focused on what the characters look like, we just love the for what they say, what they do, who they are. I think we need to do that more with ourselves and eachother.
    I WANT TO HUG THIS POST AND YOU. I've been struggling with this so much lately, and really needed something like this.

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    1. ^^^^^ SO TRUE. About the book characters. I will be keeping that in my mind.

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    2. You're right! I've never even thought of that before, but your're so right! Oh my gosh, yes. We really do! HUGS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME! If you ever need to talk, Hannah, just shoot me a message on Instagram. <333

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  3. This is such a good reminder. We shouldn't focus on our outward appearance because the inside is what really counts. And I agree with Hannah. When we read books, we like the person because of who they are. Not for what they look like. And we need to be more like this with ourselves.

    thank you for this <33

    maddy || little bit of sunshine

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    1. Thank you, Maddy! Exactly, in the end, it doesn't matter who's "pretty" or "ugly." We will be remembered by how we made people feel That's so true!

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  4. Yes. Yes. And can I just say yes again?

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    1. Yes, say yes as often as you want because it makes me so happy to hear you liked it! <3

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  5. This is a beautiful and embowering post! I've struggled a lot with the hair on my body because of the Greek gene in my heritage. Slowly, I've been trying to come to terms with it and see it as a beautiful imperfection, but of course that's easier said than done. I appreciate you speaking a truth that so many girls need to hear.

    http://sarahgrapes.blogspot.com/

    Sarah Grace xoxo

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Sarah! I'm thrilled to hear you enjoyed it! Me too! I mean, I don't any Greek heritage, but I have struggled with body hair confidence. Honestly, I've been trying to learn that it isn't an imperfection. God literally made us this way on purpose, so nothing is a mistake.

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  6. Gaah girl this is so true and everyone..like EVERY SINGLE GIRL NEEDS TO KNOW THIS AND BELIEVE It. Ive struggled a lot with trying to change myself, I wanted to be the nice quiet shy girl that was perfect and that's who I tried to be But soon I was so tired of never feeling like myself. Here recently I've been being myself more and I think that's a big part of beauty, not changing yourself so others will like you. Ya know? We're are imperfectly perfect. <333

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    1. AHHH, THANK YOU!!! Wow, I'm literally beaming ear to ear. Oh yeah, I've been through it, girl. And I still am, but we will conquer our insecurities. Yes, thanks so much for the reminder! <3

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  7. Wonderful post!!!

    I admit that in the past, I've definitely focused on my flaws--but now I'm trying to appreciate the look that I was given. (Although, I still struggle with picking out my faults sometimes.)

    I think everyone needs a reminder now and again that "Pretty is overrated." :)

    *Virtual hug*

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    1. The best thing about flaws is learning to love them. Same, but I'm working on it! Thank you for your sweet comment! *hugs*

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  8. You have such beautiful thoughts on this topic!! I loved the story about you being a little girl and seeing your strengths then fast forwarding to "growing up." (I feel emotionally invested in that small person story you shared!) Self-love is hard!! And seeing your strengths when so many times the media points out what's wrong is a struggle. I think you are on to something! I just read keeping the moon by Sarah Dessen for what has to be like the fourth time and it has a lot of great body image empowerment messages. Bless you for writing this post!<3

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    1. Oh my gosh, this comment is too sweet. :') Aw, I'm glad you liked it! Oooh, I'll have to check out that book! Thanks for brightening my day, Vanessa!

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  9. Oh, everything you wrote is beautiful! I love this post <3 Everybody is beautiful in some way and we have to remember that we're unique! I also think that our character is much more important that our appearance. Maybe now we're really pretty but after several years we'll be older and we won't be so attractive... But our character will be still the same. Awesome post! <3

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    1. Thank you, Ann! It's true! I agree, character over appearance every time. Yes, time will always catch up to us. Thanks for commenting! <3

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  10. I loved this post, Ella! It was so wonderful and inspirational! Thank you for this reminder! :D <3

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    1. Yay! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it, Liz! Thank YOU for reading it.

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  11. SO BEAUTIFUL. Thank you or this post-I really needed it. <3

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

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    1. THANK YOU! :') I'm always here if you need to chat, FYI. <3

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  12. Yes I agree!! Thanks for this, Ella!

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    1. I'm so happy to hear that you liked it!

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  13. I'm a late bloomer, so when it comes to "those changes," I fall behind in a lot of ways compared to other 13 and 14 year olds. I spent too much time and energy comparing myself to people with...you know...stuff. But now I'm learning to be happy with me and my pimple-covered face, my lanky legs, my dark as tree-wood skin, my brace face, my glasses that slide down my squishy-rubber-ball of a nose, and everything in between. Also I'm learning how to treat my acne 😂

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    1. DO NOT STRESS ABOUT THAT STUFF! Believe me, it's actually healthier to be a late bloomer. Plus growing up is overrated. Another thing, you are BEAUTIFUL. Don't be down on yourself. <3 To be honest, I've always wished for dark skin, I think there is NOTHING prettier. And I have braces and glasses too! I just wear contacts most of the time. If you ever want to chat, just hit up my email or instagram.

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    1. I'M SO HAPPY TO HEAR THAT, NABILA! <333

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  15. I think I went through the same kind of thing you did and kind of realized one day that I really didn't think I was beautiful. Through the grace of God and the constant reminder of scripture, I am working my way toward being able to say, "Heck yeah, I feel pretty!" It's even better that what you wrote here takes the pressure off -- I don't HAVE to be pretty. Wouldn't it be great if we had an uprising and this message spread like wildfire? Good-bye airbrushed ads and negative self-talk.

    Hello fearless women.

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    1. Oh my gosh, yes. It's really sad that we criticize something God worked so hard to make for us. THAT'S AMAZING! I'm so happy for you, Rosie! Exactly! Beauty is not a requirement. That would literally be a dream come true. Thanks for your uplifting comment.

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  16. Ugh YES I can relate to many parts of this post! These days the part of me that worries me most is my weight. I'm on the taller side, 5'7", and I'm not skinny, but I'm not chunky either. Some days I'm able to see that, but other days all I see is the "extra" body weight I think shouldn't be there.

    I've come to the realization that I shouldn't be as worried about my weight, considering that I'm at a healthy weight, and I should instead be concerned about whether I have a healthy diet and amount of exercise. I'm a cowgirl so I'm pretty active, but consistent exercise is important.

    Thank you so much for writing this post! Its a great reminder for us to look more on the inside instead of the outside. Preach it, girl! :)

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