pret-ty adj
a : pleasing by delicacy or grace
b : having conventionally accepted elements of beauty

If there is one thing we girls are taught to admire from the start it’s the idea of “pretty”. Phrases like “what a pretty dress you have”, “is that your pretty dolly”, and “isn’t that a pretty color” quickly turn a girls head. The word spins round and round in our heads, and what comes out? Seek pretty.

But then there’s a distinct shift that happens to all girls somewhere around adolescence, the age where doubt quickly replaces childhood confidence. We are no longer just supposed to seek pretty, we are supposed to be pretty.

This is a challenge.

And the reason it’s a challenge is because being pretty or being beautiful has moved from an inner quality to a petty judgement. Why even the word petty is just one letter away from pretty.

Do I think it’s wrong to want to be “pretty”? No, of couse not. I want to be considered pretty just like every girl whose ever existed.

The real problem is that we’ve forgotten to look beyond pretty, because in reality pretty is a hard standard to reach, it’s always changing, and it’s so subjective that if you spend your life in pursuit of it, you are sure to fail.

Instead spend your life in pursuit of real beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. (1 Peter 3: 3-5)

So here is the challenge. We must change our goals. We must strive to be more than pretty things.

Women: let’s look at ourselves as more than pretty things, let’s cultivate in ourselves something worth being called “beautiful” over, something that scrapes deeper than the surface.

Men: admire women for more than their appearances. If there are women in your life whose character is truly beautiful let them know that you appreciate them.

What beautiful characteristics are you cultivating?



Guest post by Ashley Perez

Ashley, like many other 20-somethings, is trying to figure out how to be a classy, sassy woman of character in a 21st century society. She's definitely a Hannah, though she has some Shoshana-like qualities. An English teacher in South Korea by day, she moonlights as a lover of Dawson's Creek reruns by night. She's cooler than this bio makes her sound, which is why you should check out her blog, Boys are IDOTS and her website, www.twentyandto.com a guide to getting your life together in your 20s.  She also tweets @itsashleyperez