We are all just different kinds of pretty.

If given the chance to swivel my eyes around and see for sure, I am fairly certain that the hairs on my neck are raised. 

I am talking with a young (read: early high schooler) woman in my life, and she’s just revealed her insecurities about a new girl in her school that happens to have her exact, not all that common, name. 

“And so,” she tells me. “I decide that I have to go find her because I have to figure out which one I’m going to be when people describe us.  You know, how when someone says, “Ashton said this” and the other person says, “Which Ashton?”  Well, I have to know.  Am I going to be the pretty Ashton or the ugly Ashton or the thin Ashton or the fat Ashton?”

Yes, if given the chance to look , the hairs on my neck are absolutely raised.

I try to find words before she pushes on with her story.  Words that don’t make me sound out-of-touch, and words that can help her get to the place where she understands the deeper issues at work here and the greater truth in all of this.  And I haven’t found them.  Not before the next rush of words come out of her mouth.   

“So I saw her one day, and, you know what, she’s pretty and she’s not fat.” 

Oh no, oh no, I think.  This is where she’s going to tell me that she is BOTH the ugly and fat Ashton.

“Then I figured that we’re just different kinds of pretty.”  She looks at me, expectantly, testing this theory on me.

“Yes,” I tell her.  “That is just it.  And it is so wise of you to realize this, Ashton.  The truth is that we’re all just different kinds of pretty.  We’re not supposed to be the same.  There’s not supposed to be just one ideal look out there.  The world has room for all of us, and we help other people realize that every time we remember that we’re all just different kinds of pretty.”  

As the miles fly by us on the highway, we talk a bit more about these issues, letting her turn them over more and more.  But the truest thing were those first words.  I couldn’t have said it better than she did, and, right then, sun day-glowing everything, I am so glad that I didn’t force myself to find the right words before she was done finding them for herself. 

We’re just different kinds of pretty.  This is what I want every girl to know.  It’s what I want every woman to know.  Six simple words from Ashton, a whole lot of truth for all of us.

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12 responses to “We are all just different kinds of pretty.”

  1. Kip DeForest

    Just perfect! Ashton is very wise!

  2. Suezette

    I swear I just got the chills. How awesome to see that from a young woman, and how important that she keeps that wisdom through out her life! A big ole WOOTWOO for that! And did you high 5 her?

  3. Anna Guest-Jelley

    Oh my goodness! This just knocked me over with its fabulousness.

  4. Felicity

    What a wonderful post and a terrific message for me to share with my two teen/tween Gifts [step-daughters].

    This was the first post that I’ve read on your blog and I have Cate @ http://keepcatebusy.blogspot.com/ to thank for introducing you – I’m off to explore the rest of your space.

    x Felicity

  5. Maxabella

    If she can learn that lesson, really, really learn it at her tender age, then there is hope for us all after all. I love the way you have written this. “Different kinds of pretty” – ah, yes.

    Stopped in from Keep Cate Busy’s blog. So glad I did. x

  6. LunaJune

    Yes.. we are all a Different kind of Pretty :~)
    thanks to Zebra Sounds for providing the link

  7. Our own kind of pretty | Zebra Sounds

    […] woke up thinking of this today. Which led me to make this. […]

  8. Kerri O'Farrell

    I love this. Ironically, not so very long ago I was thinking about my older sister, Cheri. She’s two years older than I and 3 inches taller. She was always long and lean in high school and I was curvy with some muscle. I sent her a message one day telling her that I always thought she believed she was prettier than I… with this follow up sentence ‘I always thought we were just two different kinds of pretty.’

    Perfect insight Ashton.. spot on.

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