Sometimes I Want to Be Pretty

by Devina Gunawan

It was last weekend when I was in my over sized Dinosaur T-shirt, chugging down some iced tea and biting into my McD fish fillet, with the TV on with Star Wars: Phantom Menace that I realized: I had lost my feminine touch.

I finished my snacks and moved on with checking the TV schedules to see if anything for fashion and beauty was on.

Now, I watch a lot of beauty and fashion related shows. I religiously check in with America’s Next Top Model (Nyle and Lacey all the way!) and for instance, Fashion Police.

But I never seem to find myself interested enough in the beauty and fashion department in ways that I dress myself according to what I watch and fancy. I dress up during the weekends, for church, and I have a habit of getting a dress that’s night gown like, anything comfortable to fall asleep in. Sometimes when I have to meet important people, I put on a skirt or wear a blazer, but that is as far as it goes.

I wear pjamas a lot, or T-shirts and yoga pants. I can’t remember the last time I brushed my hair. And I certainly can’t figure out how to put on blush on or however contouring works.

And the other day, as I got up and looked in the mirror I saw a boy. And that boy was me.

Now, I don’t think I have that much problem with that image, at least not according to my feelings. When I was a little kid, people had thought I was a boy because I looked and acted like one. So it was a familiar feel when I glanced at myself and found childhood staring back at me.

But I do feel like something is extremely laughable. It feels like something doesn’t seem right.

I am, after all, a woman.

Perhaps it is the TV shows that I watch. Maybe it’s idolizing Raven Symone and her fabulous outfits growing up. Or it could be the little part of me that always wanted to tell people that, “No. I’m actually a girl.”

In a way, it doesn’t help me much the fact that my friends are similar. A lot of them wear no makeup, dress very casually, and most of them are men.

We never talk about makeup or dresses. The topics revolve around superheroes and movies. Sometimes it’s workout routine. Sometimes it’s Star Wars. Sometimes it’s Game of Thrones or Daredevil.

When discussions go deep, they are of life and work.

So there’s a battle. And I am not sure which side is winning.

And I believe that deep down, I want to see myself as a woman. A woman I see in other women around and on TV. I want to look in the mirror and see in front of me a lady.

Pretty.

I like fashion. But my love for fashion can never match my love for mini naps. I prefer wearing clothes in which I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere. I like make up, from far, and definitely not on me. So how will this work?

But it hits me hard that even someone like me wants to feel pretty. That sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to Kim Kardashian yourself. It doesn’t hurt to Prada your closet and turn your room into a runway show.

I too got carried away on Instagram and started stalking some celebrities’ profiles. It burned me when I read about how some of them talk about their beautiful partners. Of how lucky they are of having the women in their lives, and how those women could have picked other men – better men, but instead, the ladies had chosen them.

How many men can say that when their women are not as beautiful? Perhaps still plenty of them, but the thoughts of beautiful women getting the attention and devotion from their men are toxic.

On the other hand, I looked in the mirror and thought, “Is that why he left me? Because not only do I have horrible personality, I too am not that pleasant to look at?” Perhaps if I’d looked like one of his celebrity crushes, things would be different?

It’s intoxicating. Almost deadly.

And I know that even though the problem with my past relationships did not rest on the topic of beauty, I have this little punch in my guts that perhaps, just perhaps, a better look could have prevented their debacles. That perhaps, if I’d been pretty, if I’d taken better care of myself and how I look, I wouldn’t have been left alone.

We all know it’s not true. Sometimes, no matter how beautiful you are, if you have a horrible personality or bad habits, the person you are with will eventually get fed up and leave.

But how can we see that enough when men love flaunting the beauty of their partners? Imagine if you were dating a horrible person, but he looked like Nyle DiMarco from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22. He and his gorgeous eyes would be enough to keep me around for at least a decade. And it’s probably the same for the rest of us. Sometimes, the pride in us wins. We like being pretty and having pretty stuff.

It’s horrible, but it’s the ugly truth.

And I do wish I could be pretty, wish I knew how to be, and perhaps someday I will be. Well, I will have to get out of my Star Wars T-shirts and get back to polishing myself again, in routine – not just a one time thing, if that could ever happen.

Let’s see if that is worth some sacrifices.

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