Monday, May 16, 2016

Not Feeling It

I was clothes shopping, the other day, and a precious friend spotted me as I stood at the register waiting to make my purchase.  In true southern style, she ran over, gave me a big ol' hug, and said, "Hey, honey! Don't you look beautiful today!"  Without even missing a beat, the words, "Well, you're sweet but I don't feel beautiful" just fell out of my mouth.  They just came out as naturally as exhaling.  I know all the do's and don'ts about graciously accepting a compliment and all that but, sometimes, we forget our manners, I suppose. 

I was telling the truth, though. I didn't feel beautiful.  I know my friend was just being kind because I'd just emerged from the dressing room, a few minutes earlier, where I'd wrestled myself in and out of several tops and dresses.  And not the kind with zippers or buttons that enlarge the head opening but those that you have to really work your way through.....not unlike you did through the birth canal, oh, so long ago.  So, yeah, by the time I got out of there and she saw me in the checkout line, I looked like I'd just been delivered with forceps and that head suction thingy.  Or that's how I felt.   

Face it, sometimes, we just don't feel pretty.  We just don't.  And it got me thinking about all the times that we, women, might not, necessarily, identify as being beautiful, delicate flowers.     

-When you come out of the dentist's office from having your teeth cleaned and you have this big circle of no makeup from your nose to your chin with those little splatterings of fluoride all over your face.

-After you eat some ridiculous portion of food like after I ate a 4"x4" piece of bread pudding, this weekend, I wasn't feeling pretty one bit with my pants unbuttoned. 

-When you're surrounded by people that you perceive to be aesthetically superior to yourself.  Like, say, if you were backstage at the Miss America pageant or like when I volunteered at the sorority house and was surrounded by 200 young women with long, flowy hair, perky bosoms, and well- defined lashes.  I was feeling way more Nanny McPhee-ish than pretty.
-Those last few days before an overdue haircut appointment when your hair won't do a thing but bring sorrow and despair upon your life and you threaten to start chopping on it yourself if time doesn't move faster as you finally opt to sit in the salon parking lot for the last six hours leading up to your appointment.     

-It is hard to feel pretty in the summer down here when it's 98 degrees with 97% humidity and sweat is continuously rolling down your back, your hair is matted to your head, and you feel more like a farm hand than a beauty queen.  It's difficult to feel attractive when dampness is oozing from each of your pores covering your entire body with a thin coating of sticky glaze. 

-During a woman's "special week" and the days leading up to it, we don't feel very pretty.  A dead, bloated seal rotting in the sunshine might be a more accurate description. 

-When you wake up in the morning and your face is a shade just whiter than loose leaf paper and you have that one side of your hair that is stuck flat against your skull and the other side looks like Shaggy when he sees a ghost.  Zoinks! 

-When you don't feel good and your eyes look weak and bloodshot and your crusty nose has a red tint to it caused by tissue overuse.   

-When you run into someone who you haven't seen in years and they look like they did 25 years ago and, well, you don't and they have on their Marc Jacobs and Louboutin while you and the Kim Rogers collection have gotten real tight. 

-When you get the courage to quickly run into the grocery store on a Saturday even though you've been working in the yard all morning and you smell like a goat and so you pray, as you go in, that you don't see anyone you know.  Well, you don't feel very pretty when, against all odds, you run into 47 people you know.

-When, suddenly, at 45, a zit, the size of a tootsie pop, appears on your chin and you try to do what you can with concealer but every time someone is talking to you, you feel them looking at it and it is then that you find it difficult to feel pretty. 

I could go on because I'm good at this but you get the point.  I can think of a thousand times that I don't feel pretty.  But, when I think about what makes someone beautiful to me, it has very little to do with their appearance.  It's a bright smile, quick wit, joyful generosity, loving compassion, quiet confidence, kind eyes, an endearing personality, loyalty and trustworthiness, a selfless heart.  I'm met with protest many times, too, when I tell other women that they look pretty.  There's usually something that makes us feel unworthy of the compliment.  Something we feel insecure about that makes us uncomfortable with that label.     

I did flowers for weddings for about 20 years and I'd work and work and work and if there was something that I thought was off just a little, I'd work on it ad nauseum.  Davis would be ready to go and he'd always assure me that it was fine and that no one would ever notice it but me.  He was probably right.  I obsessed with what I thought was wrong but everyone else saw it differently. 

I think that's how most of us are.  We mainly concentrate on the things that we perceive as flaws while other people skim right over those and see the big picture, your whole package deal.....your eyes, your smile, your heart. 

The Bible tells us that...... "We are the work of His hand"......."We are God's masterpiece."  So, the next time you're told that you look pretty, don't blush and fidget while you think of something clever to say to deflect the compliment.  Just simply say, "thank you."

Because we are God's handiwork and God don't do no ugly work. 

I hope y'all have a beautiful day!! 



  1. Yes! I have a hard time accepting a compliment. Also, when someone says Thank you, I make sure I say "you are welcome", not "no problem".
    Did you major in English? You have a wonderful way of writing.
    Have a joyous day Joni,
    Kathleen in Az

    1. You're sweet, Kathleen. I actually started out in English but quickly changed my major to Horticulture with an emphasis in Retail Florist Management. Big leap, huh? Hope you have a good day, Kathleen!!!

  2. Well this was well-timed for me to read. I have had double pink eye since Saturday so I'm not feeling particularly pretty right now. Something about having red demon eyes just doesn't really make my confidence swell. LOL

    1. No, April! Definitely not a confidence booster! I should have added that one to the list. Hope you're all cleared up by now. Miserable feeling. Bless you!

  3. What a timely post! I was just thinking about this the other day when I wasn't feeling very pretty. I compare myself to others way toooo much! God reminded me of how I see my loved ones and think they are beautiful and that's how they see me, too. I guess He's been busy teaching this lesson lately!

    1. I guess He has, Denice. It's probably a lesson we have to be taught over and over again as women since so much emphasis is placed on outward beauty in our society. Thank you for being a faithful reader.