I can NEVER be the Pretty Girl

By Shamah Bulangis

Pretty people usually have it easy, not that it’s their fault being born pretty.

The thing is I can never be like that.

I can never have it easy.

No, this is not a pity party for all average-looking people out there. This is an ice-cold, brutal fact. I can’t make people do things for me in a snap unlike my angelic looking friends because I seem like a demon spawn as strong as Hercules and brave as Leonidas, King of Sparta.

I can’t make people do my assignments and projects for me because I wear glasses, commonly associated with a nerdy a.k.a. smart look, and carry books and a big, heavy bag around (hence the strong as Hercules simile). If anything, I will be the one making the project instead, for a fee, if need be.

I can’t attract my crush as easily as my hot friends because I apparently “dress” like a guy and seem like a guy most of the time and I just can’t change that. Now I understand the questions thrown at me like “Do you like girls?” I mean, what is not to love? And the classic, “Are you a lesbian?” No, I am not. Not that there is anything wrong with being part of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual/Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) community.

Also, I will probably correct his grammar and pronunciation or bigotry.
I wouldn’t mind if he corrects mine, but rumor has it that being a knowit-all is not an attractive trait so, yes, I guess I am a hopeless case. To top it all off, I do not know how to flirt. I will probably throw a scientific pickup line like “You make my heart have premature ventricular contractions.” –which actually just means you make my heart skip a beat (Yes, this was from a movie I watched some eons ago).

I can never win titles in Ms. [insert name of pageant] unlike my pretty, tall, pointy-nosed, mix-Filipino friends because I do not have any of the traits listed above. I can nail the Question and Answer portion, yes, but that is only a part of the pageant. I do not have a beach body, not even a proper body, according to society, because it has been disfigured by scoliosis. I do not think the judges can ignore such an obvious fact.

I can never be gentle and quiet as my girly friends (most people would say that being gentle and quiet is attractive) because I am an activist by heart and I have to speak my mind out. I can never be the person you will immediately listen to, unlike my attractive friends who would immediately get your attention, so I have to speak with a loud voice coupled with substance to be heard, listened to and be taken seriously.

I can never be popular because of looks because my asset has always been my smarts, talents and independence. I may be a good recipient of the “Let Me Guess, You Have A Great Personality” brutallyhonest Valentine card, if there be one.
I can never be the pretty girl because I am the independent girl who does things for and on her own because she can and she will. I am the intelligent, diligent, persistent girl who takes her school work seriously because she knows it’s her most strategic way towards success.

I am the girl who gets good grades amidst a pile of extra-curriculars. I am the confident girl who remains true to herself amidst societal standards of women’s fashion and actions. I am the open-minded girl who forwards the rights and sympathizes with those who want to have the freedom to love and express themselves. I am the brutally honest girl, whether to your faults or mine, your greatness or mine, sorry not sorry for that.

I am the Quiz Bowl-Essay Writing-Debate Tournament-Extemporaneous Speech-joining girl who wins with sheer intelligence, wits and guts. I may have a body too curved to be called sexy, but I can still work with what I have and make it look good onstage with my performances in theatre, singing, and dancing. Even on the camera when I pose for my photographer friends.

I am the advocate who fights for issues she believes are important and need to be talked about, be it on social media, in the classroom or when it is necessary to take it to the streets because what gets talked about gets done. I am the outspoken girl you will hear talking about freedom from oppression, fighting for the marginalized, women’s rights, gender equality, even social justice.

You will often see me speaking out for someone who cannot speak for him/herself because I do not like seeing injustice and not do anything about it.
I feel like when someone is in need, I should help, sometimes, to a fault. I can never be compared to other girls because I am NOT MOST girls. Most of my friends would say that. I think all girls should not be compared, all people for that matter because whether born pretty or not, in some cosmic way, we can still live lives excellently.

I am not pretty, I’m brilliant. If you want to impress me, compliment my brain, not my looks

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