The peeps!

The peeps!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Death of Pretty

I read this article yesterday and haven't stopped thinking about the truth of it. As a girl who grew up hearing "pretty is is pretty does" this struck a chord with me. As a mother of two daughters, one grown and gone but one still very much at home and caught up finding her place amid the maelstrom of teenage culture, I am curious to know your thoughts on this. How do we bring pretty back? How do we teach our daughters it is your inner beauty that radiates to become lasting outward beauty. How do we teach them that if they spent as much time cultivating their spirit in relationship to Christ as they do scrutinizing themselves in front of the mirror that their beauty would be dazzling. I guess they must first see it in their mommas. Tell me what you think - I look forward to your comments.

The Death Of Pretty

Share by Pat Archbold Wednesday, December 21, 2011 11:11 AM Comments (631)
This post is intended as a lament of sorts, a lament for something in the culture that is dying and may never been seen again.
Pretty, pretty is dying.
People will define pretty differently. For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.
Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence. I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is. But some things were different in the back then. First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue. And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.
By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact. That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different. When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.
As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend. Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity. Its value is temporary and must be used. It is a consumable.
Nowhere is this pretty deficit more obvious than in our “stars,” the people we elevate as the “ideal.” The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today. Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today.
The merits of hotness over pretty is easy enough to understand, they made an entire musical about it. Who can forget how pretty Olivia Newton John was at the beginning of Grease. Beautiful and innocent. But her desire to be desired leads her to throw away all that is valuable in herself in the vain hopes of getting the attention of a boy. In the process, she destroys her innocence and thus destroys the pretty. What we are left with is hotness.
Hotness is a consumable. A consumable that consumes as it is consumed but brings no warmth.
Most girls don’t want to be pretty anymore even if they understand what it is. It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity. Something to be used up and thrown out.
Of course men play a role in this as well, but women should know better and they once did. Once upon a time you would hear girls talk about kind of women men date and the kind they marry. You don’t hear things like that anymore.
But here is the real truth. Most men prefer pretty over hot. Even back in 6th grade I hated the “hot” Olivia Newton John and felt sorry for her that she had to debase herself in such a way. Still do.
Our problem is that society doesn’t value innocence anymore, real or imagined. Nobody aspires to innocence anymore. Nobody wants to be thought of as innocent, the good girl. They want to be hot, not pretty.
I still hope that pretty comes back, although I think it not likely any time soon. For every Taylor Swift, there are a hundred Megan Foxs, or Lindsay Lohans, or Miley Cyruses etc.

Girls, please, bring back the pretty.


  1. Great post. Even with my (almost) 8 year old, explaining the difference in between "hot" and pretty is all ready a discussion. How to bring it down to her level without explaining too much is difficult, and it's even more saddening to me that it has to be done in the first place. We unfortunately live in a society that bases status on looks, money and sexuality, all of which are fleeting. It's a prayerful conversation to have, and one that is surely to be repeated numerous times, as that is a struggle that I believe every woman goes through more than once in their life.

  2. Pretty vs. Hot. Pretty is not dead, neither is virtue. The Women's Liberation Movement, came about 40 years ago, and look where it has led. Girls can think like men, boys will be boys. Mothers are the ones that buy their girls sexy clothes, and then they complain about how they dress. Example is so important. Modesty must be taught. Confiding to Mothers is one of the most important parts of growing into a lady. The friends a girl has is also very important. Virtue is a good word and should be used in daily conversation. God's word never changes. The girl that values virtue will be rewarded.

  3. Great article! And I think you're right that girls must see it in their mommas first. Thats why mommas of girls need to be in constant prayer that the Holy Spirit convicts them to be "pretty" rather than "hot."

  4. i agree with you that girls learn "pretty" from their mommas. I have a beautiful daughter. She is starring in a movie that will be released nationwide March 23rd called October Baby. When I hear her make negative comments about her weight or her hair or her eyes it baffles me. Can't she see herself as I do, as Christ does? Unfortunately then I remember she probably heard me say similar things many times and I feel convicted. My prayer is that she will see herself as God sees her.

    Check out the movie .

    1. I certainly will check it out. Is this your daughter who takes such beautiful pictures?