Don’t Call Me Pretty

I want to thank Elisabeth of Trafficked for this post. This is another one of those post that stopped me in my tracks and screamed “REBLOG ME” as it kept my attention.

This is a great description of how the brainwashing starts, in society as soon as a child is born. It’s a great post on unwanted attention also.

Please don’t just read this post here, please go visit her siteTrafficked. Follow her if you will. As a survivor of family-controlled child sex trafficking and ritual sex abuse, she’s doing awesome things to make a difference.

Don’t Call Me Pretty

I am not a super model, but some think I’m pretty. I have been called all the words for a woman who meets the generally acceptable societal standards of attractiveness: pretty, beautiful, sexy. I have had male attention. I have dated. I have married.

I know that the way I look has been an advantage for me because women are judged by the way we look. I have probably been offered more help in stores. I have probably made more money in my career. I know I have been judged far less than others. I know there are advantages I cannot see because that is how privilege works. I get that.

But I don’t want to be called pretty. I don’t want anyone to give me compliments based on the way I look. When I was a child, I was always complimented on my appearance … right before I was raped … for money. When I was a child, it appeared that a beautiful person was someone to be bought, rented, owned or controlled. A beautiful person was held the same value as a beautiful trinket … a trinket that would be purchased, placed on a mantle and shown to others. “Look at the beautiful thing that I own”. “I have always wanted one of these”. Money talked … and beauty was to be owned.

Some may think that I am too sensitive. Some may think that my past has damaged my perception. Some may think that the men from my childhood have ruined my chances of relating to any man in adulthood. Believe me, I have thought of that. But I have also seen how society treats women. The focus on a woman’s appearance is everywhere. A woman can’t be fat. A woman can’t be old. A woman can’t have wrinkles. A woman can’t have grey hair. A woman can’t have cellulite. A woman has to dress for her assets.

I watch the response to my son and my daughter (who are twins). I see the difference. Although there is still some focus on my son’s looks, there is much more attention on my daughter’s appearance. What do they say about my son? He is strong. He is smart. He is a little entrepreneur. One day, he will be very successful. He will be a speech writer for the President.

But my daughter is so pretty. She is so cute. She is so petite. She has the most beautiful eyes. Her red hair is so unique. She looks like a little princess. She is wearing the cutest outfit. As a society, we start the brainwashing as soon as we can tell if they are a boy or a girl.

So don’t tell me I am pretty. Tell me I am courageous. Tell me I am strong. Tell me I am intelligent. Tell me I am honest or truthful or vulnerable. Tell me I have it together. Tell me I am an amazing parent. Tell me you respect me. But don’t focus on my appearance. I am not here to be something you can look at, purchase or show off to others. I am a person. I have value. And that value doesn’t have a price.

10 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Pretty

  1. The broad point of judging on looks struck a chord with me, I was probably guilty of that when I was young. The finer point relating to abuse, to use Kerri’s words “stopped me in my tracks” I had never thought of compliments as a tool of control before but it makes perfect sense to me now.

  2. Kerri – Thank you so much for your support. This is one of my more risky pieces because it invites strong feelings. I have a habit of shying away from disagreements and controversy. But I think it is important for people to understand that our descriptive words, even compliments, may sound very different depending on where we came from. And our societal obsession with appearance (for both sexes) does much more harm than good. Thanks again.

    1. You’re welcome. I love what your doing and there are many others that need to hear your voice. I am a bit more risky and put it all out there, not to hurt anyone but rather to show where I’ve been and how hard the fight is to overcome rape. Not just overcome it but make a difference in how society views the crime and the victims. Keep in touch, Friend.

  3. Isn’t this just a value based thing? Some people are smarter than others. Some people aren’t as smart. Some people are ugly. Some people aren’t. Some people are charismatic. Some people are dull as the day is long.

    Why do we place higher values on traits we’re born with over others?

    1. Great point, Henshaw. I believe given the past of the author, it is titled “Don’t Call Me Pretty” because of the horrible things she suffered throughout her childhood. Not sure but I understand your point. However, I can also see where those words would be touchy to her today if they were said back then, during her years of suffering.

    2. Henshaw, after reading your reply I have to ask, did you even read the post? Or did you just make your own value judgment based on the title? If you go to the website, as Kerri suggested you do, and read Elizabeth’s story you might understand, at least I did, how being called pretty now would now repulse her or cause her consternation from the haunting memories of her tortuous childhood.

Why hello, friend! Thanks for sharing your comments. Should you have a question, please feel free to ask it here and I'll do my best to reply promptly. Thanks for stopping by! xo Kerri