The Pursuit of Pretty is an Endless One

markus zusak quote

Thousands spent on makeup, hair products and skin treatments later, and I still don’t feel pretty enough. The standard of physical perfection seems to continue getting higher and more unobtainable, meanwhile, in reality, we are faced with never being skinny enough, tanned enough or symmetrical enough. And after my latest look in the mirror criticizing my hair and skin, I realized, this desire to continue improving my physical appearance is an addiction.

The pursuit of pretty is an endless one.

I’m a woman who enjoys fashion, getting dolled up and looking presentable. But the line between the desire to looking put-together and the desire to looking photoshopped is a blurry one. As I’m getting older (and hopefully a little wiser), I’m realising more and more that your looks will fade. And, if you base so much of your worth on your outer appearance, then when gravity eventually has its way with you, you won’t be feeling very good about yourself. Instead of embracing getting older, we fear it and try to hide it based on our current North American perception of beauty.  I’ve realised that instead of obsessing over another superficial way to increase my attactiveness, perhaps its a better investment to think about how I can become more beautiful on the inside – which is 10 times more attractive than the effect that any facial or eyeliner could ever have.

You can fake pretty. But you cannot fake beautiful.

True beauty radiates from within. The glow, the energy that you exude when you’re beautiful on the inside comes from feeling comfortable with yourself, embodying confidence and embracing your self-worth. This beauty only gets better with age. Being pretty, on the other hand, doesn’t last and can be faked easily. Through proper grooming, make-up techniques and Instagram filters, anyone can appear pretty. But that pretty package only depreciates over time –  and it’s not sustainable.

To the women reading this piece, the next time your inner self-critic takes over when you’re looking in the mirror, I challenge you to stop the negative dialogue about your looks. Instead of obsessing over how to become prettier, I encourage you to ask yourself how you can feed your inner beauty. Because when you nourish your soul, educate yourself, live in your essence… you radiate a type of beauty that no model or vixen can compete with. You are beautiful. Remember that.

9 Comments

  • Reply September 4, 2012

    Sue

    Once again Amy, you’ve nailed it!! With any luck, with more people like you, the girls of tomorrow won’t be in such hot pursuit of the outside beauty perfection!!! Keep up the great work!!!

  • Reply September 5, 2012

    kristine

    you read my mind but wrote it in a “prettier” way. thank you amy

  • Reply September 5, 2012

    Alice

    Beautiful piece Amy. Thanks for being vulnerable with us and bringing to light that confident, successful women are still impacted by our looks. I think it’s an ongoing process, the feeling of acceptance and being present with ourselves. You’re beautiful, I hope you remember that :)

  • Reply September 7, 2012

    Jeff soo

    Dear amy. I always thought of my mother as intellegent &loving but until my wife came along & prettied her up with some nice clothes &jewelry ive never seen that spark of happiness in her as ive always known her to be self sacrificing in raising her family. The combination of outer pretty & inner niceness is what makes a person truly beautiful and with love I think most people are beautiful.

  • Reply September 8, 2012

    Elaine Lin

    Thanks for writing such a beautiful entry on an issue that needs to be discussed time and time again, an issue that not only pertains to young females like me (I’m 22) but across all age groups. Your posts always seem to resonate spot on with the dilemmas or situations that I’m going through; I feel like you can read my mind and subsequently offer words of comfort and advice that make make me feel less alone. I’ve been following your blog for several years now and it has helped me go through some difficult times. Thanks Amy! You’re a blessing! :)

  • Reply September 22, 2012

    Norie Tan

    Hi Amy, I am fan! Looking forward in every article you posted. Keep it up!

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Naph

    Hello, I just stumbled upon your page and it is really refreshing. I am now a subscriber. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply December 22, 2013

    elly

    Hi Amy, this is a really lovely piece, it takes a bold/strong woman to openly speak about vulnerability in such a way. Actually its just a general syndrome for todays woman but the earlier we realise that our beauty can only open the door but not keep it continually open, the better for us. I will really love to re-share this on my blog /ellyeleanor.blogspot.co.uk cos its a piece I think every woman should read. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply January 5, 2014

    Chandra

    stumbled across this page… and while mourning a break up I have found the need to pick my self up & reading pieces like this are very encouraging … Thank you!

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