Believe You’re Beautiful – Others Will, Too
Back in college I knew a girl who did not seem to fit our cultural notion of “pretty.” But then a really attractive guy began dating her. Holding my own “lookism” bias, I didn’t get it. What did he see in her?
What happened next surprised me more. “Plain Jane” transformed into a beautiful young woman. It’s as though she hadn’t known her beauty, and couldn’t show it to the world until she felt someone else see it in her. And whether he actually did doesn’t matter. She believed that he did, and she was transformed.
This reminded me of a story my mom told me. An “unattractive” friend of hers went to college in the 1950s, when a girl’s worth was tied to how many dates she got. (Back then women didn’t sleep with the men they dated, so the only reputation they got was “popular.”)
Anyway, a frat decided to joke around by getting all the brothers to eagerly ask her out. Once again an ugly duckling transformed into a swan and the men began asking her out for real.
If you want to be beautiful, believe that you are.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
– From Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”