I’m Not Going to Your Pretty Party (But Thanks for the Invite)


When I was 5 years old, I went to a friend’s house with long curly hair and left with the Dorothy Hamil haircut. With little to no convincing, my friend put lotion in my hair to prepare me for “my wedding” or “school” or whatever engagements sound grown up to  a 5-year-old.

I never questioned what the scissors gracing my scalp had to do with impending adulthood. I was young, trusting, and promised a strawberry fruit roll up.

I remember looking in the mirror and feeling nothing towards my new appearance. The fear only set in when my mother rang the doorbell and I found myself underneath the table, tightly clutching said fruit roll up.

I went to school the next day and a kid told me I looked like a boy. I cried because I assumed this meant I was ugly. I cried because, at 5 years old, I was already a failure to my gender.

Cut to the present and my hair is almost as short, and almost as styling, as Dorothy Hamil’s. I barely wear makeup, I only respect a utilitarian handbag, and I find shopping to be a frivolous chore that is better left to my boyfriend.

Needless to say, I don’t feel pretty on the day to day.

Needless to say, I don’t really try to.

As a “woman,” I resent society’s pressure to tell me what traits I should care about. I resent that the admittance of not feeling pretty is immediately met with well-meaning  but generic coos of “yes you are.”

I appreciate your insistence that I have value, people in my life, but that’s not really what I’m questioning.

Because, in my mind, pretty is a pretty thing that exists in pretty people. It affects the way they move, speak, and stylize themselves in ways that are both put upon and inherent.

I do not move prettily. I move like you should get the fuck out of my way.

I do not speak prettily. The word “fuck” is not a curse word to me. It’s a second language.

I do not stylize myself prettily. Again, I repeat the phrase, “utilitarian handbag.” Also fuck.

It is not self-deprecating to see pretty as an adjective that belongs more strongly to someone else. It is self-deprecating to cry when some kid on the playground asserts that your appearance is wrong for both your gender and your identity.

It is self-deprecating to believe that because of your genitals, you have to feel pretty or make an effort to be so.

I feel no ill will towards pretty or the friend that cut my hair almost 18 years ago. She knew me before I knew myself. She knew that I was something other than “pretty.”

If You Don’t Have the Job You Love, Love the Job You’re With.

If You Don’t Have the Job You Love, Love the Job You’re With.

Like many millennials straight out of college, I find myself feeling both profoundly lucky that I’m employed-at least in the part-time sense-and confused by the job I have-in the full-time sense, at least.

For over a month, I’ve been doing work that has nothing to do with my college degree, in an office whose contrast to my forward-thinking liberal arts college can best be described by the general opinion of gender pronouns. And guns laws. And whether or not I seem like I was a cheerleader in High School.

But hey, if I was going to stare at a screen for five hours anyway, I might as well get paid. And, if I suddenly look like a leader who cheers well then, *Bring It On.

Because truthfully, I’m just happy that I made a first step to figuring it out and have some sweet PDFs to add to my portfolio. I’m happy for the upgrade from my $0.00 internship wages even if the current rate has me *Feeling The Bern.

It’s just, for the first time, I find myself missing interactions with people my own age. Even though, I always swore I hated those.

Or maybe I just hate compromise.

You see, when you’re in school, it’s pretty awesome to refuse to compromise your values. You may have less friends, but you get a neat high horse to ride and the comfort of knowing you didn’t sell out. If you get too opinionated as an independent contractor, then you run the risk of getting fired and having to sell that high horse for gas money home.

Needless to say, I don’t pay for my own horse.

I guess at the end of the day, a job’s a job. Much like school, it’s a reason to get dressed in the morning and interact with a world that can still afford AC. It’s not always good but it’s definitely not bad and indeed.com always holds the promise of a new day and opportunity.

Or maybe that’s just the optimism of Saturday night delusion. I guess, we’ll know Monday.

*Bring It On is a cheerleading themed movie franchise. You’ve heard of it.

*Feeling The Bern is a reference to potential Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. If you don’t know much about him, look it up. He’s a good dude who thinks you deserve a living wage.

Having the Foresight to Reject Hindsight

Having the Foresight to Reject Hindsight

If hindsight is 20/20, then I’ve been functioning at 20/70 for far too long. At least, that’s what I realized when I was given contacts for the first time and my perspective jumped from VHS to HDTV in just a matter of eye pokes. Instead of being thrilled by my new crisper, 3-dimensional vision that all the kids have been raving about, I resented the new change in my daily routine. After all, I loved my VHS tapes.

Six business days later, my glasses came in and my spirits lifted. Daria. Tina Fey. Mother Teresa. By my standards, I was finally inducted into a special club for great women, whose success in gender politics can be measured by their choice in eyewear (take that the pro contact patriarchy).

But when my excitement wore down and I realized that I was no closer to becoming Liz Lemon, I noticed that something bigger and more pressing had been obstructing my view. Much like my vision, my perspective since graduation has been completely near-sighted.

In the past, staying present was hard. I liked looking ahead at the vague shapes in front of me and planning how they would mirror my future. Internships, friendships, teacher-mentor ships, these were just a means to achieving the fruit of my hard work. I had no doubt that I could be a screenwriter and would be ready for any challenge ahead of me.

Well, I’m two months in and my future looks hazier than ever. I can barely see what’s ahead of me and not just because my glasses are foggy from the summer humidity. I’m near-sighted because I don’t have the foresight to know what I want anymore. Are the hoops to work in entertainment worth it? Is selling and possibly changing my art going to bring me any personal satisfaction? Could I really be happy following a career path that only helps myself?

What I realized is that I made choices that led to one path without realizing whether I would regret them. After all, as a child actress I’ve been involved in entertainment my whole life. At what point does it become entertaining?

As usual I have no answers but am finally asking myself the right questions. I love writing, but I can expand what that means. I have stories to tell, but I can choose who I tell them too.

Instead of regretting my lack of hindsight, I accept the challenge of finding a clearer perspective. I will try to explore other interests and other destinations until I find the life I want. I will enhance my sight so that when I drive, I’m no longer a danger to those who share the road. I will not blame the past and lose sight of the future. Yes, I still don’t particularly care for the present but at least I have choices. Glasses or Contacts? It depends on the day.