This is very thought-provoking post, Suzi Q., and as a father of 2 teen-aged daughters, I am soaking it in. Thank you!
|Warhol's unadorned portrait of Vreeland as it appears on McKean's post|
Suffice to say, the poster version got me thinking. I went back to Suzi Q's wall and thought some more about prettiness and beauty in the context of modern society. If "pretty" is not rent you pay for occupying a space marked "human," then what about other attributes and socially-constructed values? And is McKean advocating slovenly behavior and appearance? I added the following comment, in which I modified the original statement to be gender-neutral and removed the various versions of "Pretty / Prettiness":
Fill in the blank! Does the paragraph make sense if you substitute any of the following words for PRETTY? You don't have to be NICE. You don't have to be POLITE. True?
Meanwhile, the social graces of politeness, cheerfulness, and humility are undervalued in today's skin-deep society. We should try to be attractive, pleasant, decent human beings. We should deploy our gifts as best as we are able. Elegance is not about random beauty inherited at birth. Elegance is about attitudes and aspirations.
As for my two teen-aged daughters, they are both beautiful and smart. No boy will ever be worthy! And as long as I continue to have anything to say about the matter, they will never be merely "Pretty!"
Related post: "Pretty" by Kate Makkai
H/T: Suzi Q.