I’ve loved that quote about how prettiness is not the rent you pay for occupying a space marked female and the other day I stumbled across the original author, Erin McKean of A Dress a Day. Here’s the full quote:
You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.
4 thoughts on “You don’t have to be pretty”
Why does it only say female that makes it seem like guys aren’t pressured to look hot and ripped and shit.
The standards for how much effort women are expected to put into their appearance are vastly higher than for men, and the penalties and shitty treatment women get if they don’t meet society’s standards are vastly higher than for men. Not only will you be able to see this around you if you look for it, there are also many psychological and sociological studies showing this to be true. Sure, there is some pressure on men to look good in at least some circles (it depends on where you live and your socioeconomic status and such), but it is nowhere near as bad as the pressure on women.
But every dang time a woman complains about this inequality, she’ll get responses from men saying, “Yeah but what about men……” Given the circumstances, that response is kind of rude. It’s like telling someone who is complaining about having a broken leg, “Yeah, but what about me, I also have this bruise on my arm!” Just be glad you don’t have it as bad as us.
Apparently there was a study done about the human brain – different parts light up when we see a person from when we see an object.
And it turns out most people brains (men and women) process men as people but women as objects.
So yeah. Women absolutely are expected to look pleasing to a level that men are not. WE ARE LITERALLY PERCEIVED AS DECORATION. Which I knew even before hearing about this study, because how many MEN have ever had a stranger tell them “you’d look prettier if you smiled”?
I have something to tell you that’s going to absolutely blow your mind. Before you read any further, you’re going to need to sit down and if you’re eating or drinking anything, swallow first and set it down.
Okay, are you ready?
Are you sure?
Alright, here goes: I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT MEN. IT IS POSSIBLE TO MAKE A STATEMENT ABOUT WOMEN THAT IS NOT ABOUT MEN. NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT MEN. THAT STATEMENT WAS ABOUT WOMEN, NOT MEN.
Honestly, if a friend calls to talk about their shitty day, does that mean you must have had a good day? If a coworker complains about getting stuck in traffic on the way to work, does that mean you must have hit nothing but green lights all the way in? Hell, if it’s a friend’s birthday, does that mean your birthday can’t possibly be the same day?
If you can understand that all of those scenarios are completely fucking ridiculous, then you can goddamn well understand that a statement about women does not say ANYTHING, positive, negative, or otherwise, about men.