The woman in the video above is Katie Makkai. She’s a poetry slammer, and in this piece, goes to town on the word “pretty.” She works herself up into a pretty good – and justified – froth:
This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl 30 stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those to pretty syllables.
There have been times in my life – Hell, there are still days now and then – when I’ve been guilty of blaming internal dissatisfaction on my outside appearance, so that statement really hit home. One of the reasons I’m so enamored with CrossFit, Whole9Life, and that cold, unforgiving barbell is that I think, collectively, they’ve taught me “how to wear joy.” From the inside out.
Although Katie’s monologue is harsh and angry, the wrap up is hopeful and proves that if “pretty” is put in the sentence in the right place, it’s not a bad word:
The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be… You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you, will never be merely ‘pretty.’
I have to admit, I have a ridiculous predilection for J.Lo. going right now… I just can’t get enough of her (and her outfits) on American Idol. Ditto for Sofia Vergara from Modern Family.
They’re both so pretty physically it’s almost unreal.
But I watch them because there’s more to them than symmetrical faces and flawless physiques.
As it turns out, Jennifer Lopez gives surprisingly astute advice on Idol, and she’s far kinder than I expected. Sofia V. plays the voluptuous Gloria on Modern Family. And yes, she’s all kinds of va-va-va-voom – but she also has the comic chops of Lucille Ball and a laugh that shakes the rafters.
THAT is really pretty.
But I’m not pretty like them.
And I’m also not pretty like you.
I’m pretty like me.
Pretty mouthy, pretty tenacious, pretty loving, and pretty tough.
If I tell you I think you’re pretty, which I’m bound to do sometime because you. are. amazingly. pretty. What I mean is: you’re pretty amazing. As a human. Inside and out.
[Thanks to Sociological Images for sharing this video today.]
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