Pretty Shouldn’t Hurt

Mama said, “You’re a pretty girl.
What’s in your head, it doesn’t matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth
What you wear is all that matters.”

Just another stage, pageant the pain away
This time I’m gonna take the crown
Without falling down, down, down

Pretty hurts
We shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is a disease of a nation
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts
Shine the light on whatever’s worse
Tryin’ fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says, “Bigger is better.”
South beach, sugar free
Vogue says, “Thinner is better.”

Just another stage, pageant the pain away
This time I’m gonna take the crown
Without falling down, down, down

Pretty hurts, shine the light on whatever’s worse
Perfection is a disease of a nation
Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts (Pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts (Pretty hurts), shine the light on whatever’s worse
Tryin’ to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

Ain’t got no doctor or pill that can take the pain away
The pain’s inside and nobody frees you from your body
It’s the soul, it’s my soul that needs surgery
It’s my soul that needs surgery

Plastic smiles and denial can only take you so far
And you break when the fake façades leave you in the dark
You’re left with shattered mirrors and the shards of a beautiful past

Pretty hurts, shine the light on whatever’s worse
(Pretty hurts)
Perfection is a disease of a nation
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)
Pretty hurts, shine the light on whatever’s worse
Tryin’ to fix something but you can’t fix what you can’t see
It’s the soul that needs the surgery

When you’re alone all by yourself
(Pretty hurts Pretty hurts)
And you’re lying in your bed
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

Reflection stares right into you
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

Are you happy with yourself?
(Pretty hurts Pretty hurts)

You stripped away the masquerade
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

The illusion has been shed
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

Are you happy with yourself?
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

Are you happy with yourself?
(Pretty hurts, Pretty hurts)

Yes

These are the lyrics to Beyonce’s song, “Pretty Hurts.”  I really like this song.  And I hope everybody who listens to it understands what she is trying to say.  Pretty is not supposed to hurt.  White.  Black.  Asian.  Hispanic.  Blond hair.  Black hair.  Straight hair.  Curly hair.  Blue eyes.  Brown eyes.  Tall.  Short.  Fat.  Skinny.  It doesn’t matter.  Pretty is not on the outside.  It begins on the inside.  We were all born with the bodies we have.  Yes, there are things you can do to change the way you look, but sometimes you can do things to yourself that hurt.  Ever seen one of those extreme plastic surgery shows?  Or maybe you know somebody who has anorexia.  I do.  And when you are constantly comparing yourself to others and to what they think is pretty, you are hurting yourself even more on the inside.  Pretty’s not supposed to hurt.  Are YOU happy with yourself?  I AM.

I watched the Oscars with my mom this year.  Lupita Nyong’o won an award.  She does not look like what people normally think of when they think pretty actress.  But, I think she is beautiful.  Most of all she is smart.  She graduated from Yale University!

Lupita Nyong’o