No matter our gender or sexual preference, we, as humans, stare at and study pretty.
Pretty can be had via great genes, as well as a workout regime, contouring makeup, hair extensions, fake lashes, augmented eyebrows and injections and implants of all kinds. (Surely I’m not the only one who has binged a season of the plastic surgery show ‘Botched’ in one night!)
Pretty is much like a new car - maintenance is understood. (The battle to keep a vehicle clean, shiny and ding-free begins day one, and ends only when you give up, or sell it.)
Honestly - and oddly enough - ‘pretty’ is what most of us focus on in any quest for attractiveness in ourselves or others, with a commonly accepted and unachievable standard of supermodel looks. And there’s an unmistakable societal price for that.
Witness the lives of professional football cheerleaders in the US, who generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for NFL teams' ownership via merchandise and appearances.
The cheerleaders’ work and travel schedule is grueling, fitness and attractiveness standards unyielding and competition is fierce - yet job security and pay are minimal.
On average, cheerleaders make $10 per hour - and they had to go to court recently just to secure that ‘increase’ from as little as $2.75. (Unfortunately, ‘pretty' often involves selfishness in the hands of those who determine what pretty is, and results in degraded self-esteem in and victimization of those trying to meet and hold the mark. And this is 2020, post-#metoo.)
Average annual salary of the NFL players being cheered for? $2,000,000 - that’s about $961/hour, or more than 95x that of the cheerleaders. And that’s without the gents ever having to do this thing never recommended by an orthopedic surgeon, e-v-e-r.
People generally feel comfortable rating ‘pretty’ with the numbers 1 - 10. Who hasn’t used that scale at least once in reference to someone’s attractiveness, whether the subject was male or female? It’s even the very foundation of the addicting British makeunder show, ‘100% Hotter’ - contestants are promised their attractiveness will have doubled by the end of the show, say, from a 4.0 to an 8.0.
It’s a friend who brings you soup when you’re sick or listens to your break-up story one. more. time.
It's a significant other who sees the best in you, even when you can’t see a thing through your tears of loss or betrayal. Beauty has nothing to do with makeup, clothes or anything else you put ‘on’ - it’s 100% about your insides and how they make a difference in everyone else’s reality.
Often, the most beautiful people in the world don’t receive the same attention as the merely pretty, and that’s just upside down. I created the ‘you have no idea how beautiful you are’ card to help us recognize and celebrate the beauty in those around us - in loved ones, certainly, from significant others to family - and also in friends! I hope you enjoy, and send a bunch!