Pretty Unpretty
Pretty Unpretty

Pretty Unpretty

I love giving pep talks, but I really don’t like needing to hear them myself—especially when they don’t provide much pep.

It can get exhausting when people are constantly telling you the same old things—you’ll find the right person when you’re supposed to; trust in God’s timing, and try to be patient; maybe you should put yourself out there a little more; give the dating apps another try; this might just be a season you’re supposed to be single. And so many more. So.many.more.

Also, the last time I checked, a lifetime and a season are two different things, pal.

Discouragement can be tricky because you can often feel it most when people are making efforts to encourage you. You hear their words, but they’re sometimes pretty trite and maybe even redundant, and your heart and head might not exactly be on the same page.

I think I also struggle with this because I’m usually the one providing encouragement for others, and it feels off for others to offer it to me. It’s not that I don’t think I need it—it’s simply that I don’t want to need it. As much as I love to help and cheer people up when they’re feeling down, I don’t want people to feel like they need to do that for me. I want to be fine even when I’m not.

But I guess we don’t always get what we want.

I’m not fishing for compliments or trying to throw a pity party, but I want to be honest about something—I’ve felt ugly my entire life. I really can’t think of one moment when I legitimately felt pretty or beautiful or relatively any attractive term. Sometimes people have called me “cute,” but there are people who also think that mice and lizards are cute, and I have a friend who thinks possums are cute, and I don’t prefer to be in the same category as any of those creatures.

I’ve gone on dates and probably technically dated guys (without giving it that actual label), and never once has any of those guys complimented my appearance or even made me feel anything close to good-looking. The fact that they also haven’t been quick or seemingly eager to kiss me hasn’t helped, either. While I will rage a new one if my friends try to ask if there’s anything wrong with them when people don’t return their feelings, I have to admit that I’m questioning what’s wrong with me all too often. If the same thing keeps happening to me—guys either not being interested at all or acting interested and then suddenly darting the other direction—how is that not a me problem?

Trust me, I want to talk myself out of that mindset, too.

Not to boast too much, but I feel like I’m pretty great in terms of personality. That sounds really conceited. But I’m funny (at least I think I am), I love sports, I care deeply for people and love the people in my life well, and I love to have fun and live an adventurous life. I understand that’s not for everyone, but I would think it would at least be for some people. I know some of the guys I’ve liked have been interested in a girl who has those qualities—which is why I continue to believe that it has something to do with the way I look.

I feel kind of weird putting that in print and into the world. I’ve talked about it with people before, but I don’t like to be a complainer, especially about something that feels a bit superficial. And it also feels as if I’m exposing too much of myself—too much of my insecurities that I don’t think I’m supposed to have.

I wish that it were easier to be human sometimes and that vulnerability didn’t exist. But I guess that the challenges we face and hopefully overcome help force us to grow and become the people we were always meant to be.

So, here’s my pep talk to you (and maybe me, I guess): Keep being you. You’re a wonderfully imperfect precious treasure this world needs. You are valued, you are loved, and you matter—now and always.

Dash closed his eyes, but I still love him with my whole heart


  1. Ashley English

    Girl, I don’t know how I’m just now seeing this, but you are gorgeous! I know all too well how easy it is to get down on oneself though. I love you and love how honest this is.

  2. Hey Natalie! I love the vulnerability here – it’s so easy to think those thoughts and feel those emotions. You seem to be the kind of person who puts yourself out there and that is brave in itself. I disagree with part of this though – you’re a very pretty woman and deserve to be told that. If no one has said so yet today, let me say you’re gorgeous!

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