such a pretty face

March 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm (Uncategorized)

It gets said a lot. “You have such a pretty face.” If only you could lose weight and free that pretty face from the layers of blubber! Surely there’s a pretty body to go along with it! And so forth.

But what if you don’t have that pretty face? I do, more or less – big hazel eyes, people always ask if I’m wearing eye makeup, a great smile, meticulously groomed brows, and a nose that gets the job done. And my hair looks fantastic, more often than not. Good genes, that’s all, but it gives me a certain amount of cultural capital, to borrow a phrase from Mina. On the other hand I have a friend who is definitely… not pretty. How different is that experience for her?

I sound like such a n00b, I know.



  1. emsyinwonderland said,

    I have gotten teh pretty face comment twice. Once from a drop-dead-gorgeous girl in my musical theatre group, and once from a really close friend. But both times without the lose weight sentiment behind it. I took the compliment with a lot of scepticism, because I really don’t consider myself to be good-looking.

    Much more often I have heard the words, “you photograph well” or “your character shines through”. To me, those are compliments and insults at the same time. I’m glad I’m interesting in their opinion, but it also seems there is nothing good to say about any traditional beauty features on my behalf. Ugh, I don’t know. It’s just me, and I like me. Most of the time, at least.

  2. WeightingGame said,

    I think the ‘pretty face’ thing is a totally backhanded compliment and agree with you that there’s usually a weight-related thought behind it. It’s not a nice thing to say to people. even if you DO have a pretty face, what about everything else you have to offer? Like strength, intelligence, love, smarts, etc. I always try to stop myself when, upon seeing a little girl, I feel the urge to say, “Look at you…aren;t you pretty?!” even if she’s, like, 8 months old and doesn’t yet understand, I want her to hear people complimenting her on other things besides her looks.

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