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Over the weekend I started singing again in public. It’s been a long time and I had a few friends mention how good it was to see me up there again. I felt the love and my heart was full.

As I headed out, a friend  hugged me and then added, “awwww! You looked so pretty up there.”

 I just smiled…

I hate the word “pretty”.

I’m not trying to be a bitch. Just hear me out..

Okay. So. In my mind I was annoyed when it probably wouldn’t have bothered most people. But then there’s me. People like me. Who have struggled my whole life to feel not pretty but beautiful. Acne since fifth grade. Always feeling like an outlier. Not enough. Not popular. Not cool. Ugly. Just plain not beautiful. Always the best friend of the girl all the guys liked. The little sister of the hot sister. And the list goes on of first world problems as a middle class kid in America.

So here’s the point people, ‘cuz we only get an hour for lunch:

Little girls want to be pretty. WOMEN want to be beautiful.

Pretty feels patronizing even though it’s not meant to be.  We have to practice building each other up as women, especially in NYC, because around every Starbucks corner is an ad or magazine or commercial telling us our boobs aren’t big enough or more naked Equinox hot people saying, “You suck. We’re hot. Try harder” or my fav…”Commit to something”.

I digress.

Even Dictionary.com agrees…

pret·ty

adjective

attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful or handsome.

“a pretty little girl with an engaging grin”

synonyms: attractive, lovely, good-looking, nice-looking, personable, fetching, prepossessing, appealing, charming, delightful, cute, as pretty as a picture; bonny; informal, easy on the eye, literary, beauteous, archaic, fair, comely, “a pretty child”

beaut·i·ful

adjective

pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically

“beautiful poetry”

synonyms: attractive, pretty, handsome, good-looking, alluring, prepossessing; of very high standard; excellent. “the house had been left in beautiful order”

So here’s my challenge to you this week: take the risk and stop using the word “pretty” when you are talking to other women. Especially women 25 and above.

If you say “Beautiful” watch what happens…

You’ll witness one of two things:

1. She lights up, blushes and hardly knows what to say but is clearly moved that SOMEONE finds her BEAUTIFUL. You’ll have made her day. Or week. Or Year.

2. She cusses you out and punches you in the face

My bet is on the first one.