Call Her By Her Talents — Don’t Call Her Pretty

Kirstie Taylor
5 min readMar 10, 2019
Photo by on Unsplash

This is a tale of a young girl growing up in a land of endless opportunities but an abundance of invisible obstacles.

A story about a girl who was raised being told how to act and dress based on her gender. Constantly having ideas of beauty embedded in her subconscious through the Barbie dolls she was encouraged to play with. Looking closely at the Barbie, either relating to her features or feeling as though she was a complete alien in comparison.

A girl who turned on the television to watch another episode of Paw Patrol but in between the show was bombarded with commercials of tall, thin women describing what it meant to be “beautiful.”

A girl that internalized these standards of beauty, and never realized she was seeking moments in her life that confirmed these ideas that beauty mattered most. Like the time her parents wouldn’t let her go to ballet class without her hair neatly in a bun. Or the time the kids at school told her she was ugly and everyone stopped talking to her. Or maybe the time the most beautiful person in the world, her mother, called herself fat when she thought no one was looking.

A girl who entered high school, having already been on several diets to try to look more like her “skinny friends” or the women she saw on TV. Diets trends that never seemed to work, and would result in herself hating her body every time she looked in the mirror.

A girl who wanted more than anything to fit in. She watched make-up tutorials, bought the products she saw on TV and learned how to dress a little more like the Instagram models scattered throughout her feed.

A girl who started to receive more confidence in herself when people began to tell her she looked “pretty.” That she was a lot “hotter” than she was in middle school. Taking those compliments as a sense of relief — a feeling that she was finally starting to matter.

A girl who equated her worth to these new views of admiration she was receiving. She clung tightly to her restrictive eating and continuously worried about slipping up. Losing what she had built would mean losing meaning to life.

A girl who would eventually grow up and get a job. A job where she was met with comments on how much make-up she wore…

Kirstie Taylor

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