Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All the Pretty Girls Go To the City

The other day a friend of mine told me I am pretty.

It's kinda funny, but I have never considered myself to be pretty. That's not to say that I think I'm unattractive - any of you who actually know me know that's absolutely not true. It's just that pretty is not the way I would choose to describe myself.

Pretty is just a small step above cute, an adjective which I absolutely abhor. Both terms suggest a lack of sophistication. Pretty is pleasing in a simple way, kind of standard. To be pretty is to be attractive, but not in any special way.

Cute should be reserved for puppies, kittens, and shoes. If you want to get on my bad side, tell me I'm cute.

Much better adjectives to describe attractiveness:
Beautiful
Striking
Alluring
Breath-taking
Comely
Gorgeous
Ravishing
Stunning
Pulchritudinous

I'm not saying that all of those apply to me, but I'm not saying they don't either. My point is that I'm certain there is more to my beauty than just prettiness. I'm not a traditional beauty, and that's part of the appeal.

Or maybe I'm giving semantics way too much weight. But, since we have the tools to be precise with our descriptions, why not take advantage of them? There's so much subtlety and art in language (less in English than some others, but it's still there) that most people simply ignore. It makes me sad. I urge everyone to really think about how you articulate your thoughts and utilize all the tools at your disposal.

6 comments:

Shani said...

Ugh, gotta disagree with you on 'comely'. Apparently it derives from a word that meant 'delicate or feeble'.

(Okay, so I had no justification until thirty seconds ago; but that's the power of etymology!)

Cassie the Great said...

I accept you criticism. I came up with it the lazy way - Thesaurus. Also where Pulchritudinous came from, which may be one of my new favourite words.

veganaron said...

You're pretty...

Yeah you knew I wasn't going to be able to not do that right? I mean come on, how long have you known me? How long have I been a smart ass that does shit like that? Yeah that's right, you're pretty! Ha whadda ya gonna do about it?

Cassie the Great said...

I'll tell you what I am going to do about it! I'm going to slap you... no, wait, I am simply going to roll my eyes. One of the two. Or perhaps both.



I will also pout and say "I am not pretty"

Anonymous said...

Careful! Pouting is cute - and sometimes sexy.

I think we need some terms to suggest an attractiveness that is beyond simply 'pretty', or 'nice looking', yet not at the level of 'stunning', 'ravishing', etc., as are most of your listed words (possibly excepting 'striking' and 'alluring', but they are still to severe to serve).

Then in another category we have slang terms such as 'hot', and the British 'very healthy' (though I'm not sure they still use that one).

-Rusty

Cassie the Great said...

Hmmm, that is a tricky one. You could just say "attractive" or "interesting" could work, but that sometimes has sort of an odd connotation. I have never heard a Brit say "very healthy" (not that I know many Brits), I have heard them use "fit" to describe attractiveness. I actually rather like the term.

Anyway I vote we invent a word that means more than pretty but less than stunning.