The Pretty Girl
First impressions fade, the way you treat others stays.
The first impression — they say it’s the most important — but what happens when preconceived notions based upon your appearance profoundly influence that opinion, making you out to be supercilious and haughty. They see my long legs, thin build, and my confidence, and assume that I am surely a self-centered, stereotypical “pretty girl,” who spends her weekend’s shopping and Friday nights partying. Incorrect. I read for pleasure, watch Rachel Maddow every night at six, and when I am feeling adventurous, will throw on some ’80s rock, and inordinately dance around my kitchen — somehow I am still only the pretty girl.
It’s only after I carry a conversation with an individual, that they take notice to my undeniably quirky idiosyncrasies — I’ve had friends tell me: “When I first met you, I thought you were going to be uptight, but you’re normal.” Eventually, the notion that I was a supercilious haughty was normalized, and I became conscious that that was how people would perceive me during the first impression — especially other women.
It is a true statement that other women see me this way — we are in fact, taught by unrealistic beauty standards, to desire to be 5’9”and 110 lbs — it was Hollywood who made it a competition. Girls have been trying to shed me since the third grade; everything from kicking me off of a slide to creating social media accounts entirely dedicated to the declaration that I should be dead. But, the unwavering desire to be the best at school or even in life is still no excuse to be mean — haven’t you heard of the saying “Kill them with Kindness?”
How could they possibly be kind to me? I’m at the top of my class, intelligent, witty, want to befriend every soul I encounter, and I’m pretty. Now you know why nobody likes the pretty girl — because this one, and so many others, battle the stereotype.
I remember when I was in my sixth-grade Language Arts class — I will admit I was a total nerd, I fell in love with writing — but I didn’t fit the mold for an intelligent individual with an academic opinion. I was tall, thin, and, according to one student “had no as — ets” — I was the pretty girl. Therefore, they could not be diplomatic because I posed a threat to their self-esteem, and they took on a Mean Girl disposition.
I often wonder whether these girls pick up their guerrilla tactics from their mothers — here’s some advice if you ever have a daughter: raise her to love others, and for her to know that to be seen as beautiful, she has to start with her soul.
What consolidated the mindset of the other girls was what my best friend (at the time) would tell me. She would come up to me and point blank, say, “So and so told me she doesn’t like you.” After searching for an answer with a run around question to said friend, she would nonchalantly shrug her shoulders and walk away. She was the same friend, who, during our Junior year of high school, masterminded the Instagram page that told me to commit suicide, after I had surpassed twenty thousand followers on a page that featured pictures of my most recent modeling work. Her attempt to tarnish my reputation only resulted in her loss of a friend — because you kill them with kindness, and as Junot Diaz would say, the Fuku will get them.
Given the adversity I have experienced from people who are supposed to be my allies, I have constructed a thick skin to compliment my ability to emotionally disconnect. If they cannot see your flaws externally, they will dig deep until they salt your wounds. It’s human nature to want to be the best, that’s what we’re all taught — some hierarchy mass media construes. I’m just trying to live my life, and dance to David Bowie at eight in the morning, in my glasses, while I make pancakes — the point is, I am just like you — a human being.
The first impression — it’s important, but what takes the cake is how people remember you. Sure, you were considered perfect, and people were jealous, seeking revenge for what you could only blame good genetics for. But, were you a good person? Or did you fight fire with fire? Beauty fades, and all we have left is the impact we’ve made on people’s lives. Next time you judge a book by its cover, remember; I will silence a room, contribute to a steaming conversation on classic literature, and break your heart if you try to convince me that Prince didn’t play the guitar.