Used To Be Pretty

“You used to be so pretty,” that’s what I recently heard. ”H’m, I mean you still are, of course,” followed an apologizing remark of a man who realized he said something wrong. But too late, the message was sent. I am in the used-to-be category now.

Strangely, I didn’t get upset, only shrugged my shoulders. Maybe it’s not a big news for me as I see myself in the mirror every day and know that time works against me, not for me; maybe it’s not a big deal at all. It reminded me though of some cliché lines from nineteenth century novels where an author would describe a woman of Balzacian age like, “Her face with still remaining traces of bygone beauty…” Yeah, that’s me, I’m in the history as a literary example. I am the one with traces.

That brought me to thinking of what is beauty, after all, for me. Definitely not just regular features or lack of wrinkles. If it were so, I would admire those many plastic surgery clients they show every day on TV. But the perfect skin alone is not a sign of beauty for me. I actually like wrinkles, especially on men who are more handsome and interesting when they leave the age of a boyish ‘prince’ and arrive at the station of a manly ‘king’, like Sean Connery, for example, who was pretty cute as James Bond but became irresistible as King Arthur.

The situation is more complicated for women as we want to freeze at the stage of a princess, and each of us always wants to look at least five years younger. But, alas, there are things in this world you can’t prevent, and aging is one of them.

Coming back to what beauty is for me, I think it’s not what’s on the outside. It’s on the inside. It sounds like another cliche, I know, but it works for me anyway. When a person shines through with joy, kindness, intellect or talent you forget about the face, you can only see this fascinating light and it makes you feel warm and grateful. It makes you feel love. And if you met someone like that you witnessed the real beauty.


The Daily Post

6 thoughts on “Used To Be Pretty”

  1. I agree with you on what beauty is. I, for one do NOT want to freeze at the “princess” stage. I was never “princess pretty” but even if I had been, I find that sort of boring. Often it’s what most of society these days admires and encourages. At almost 58 I’m relatively happy with my look. Of course my stray grays meld well with my ash blond hair so that only I know they’re there. But wrinkles and laugh lines abound on my face. I earned each and every one, and except for the sagging jawline, I’m generally accepting of the older me.

  2. Thanks for your perceptive view of aging. I feel so ageless inside I can’t believe how I look on the outside. The trick I think is self acceptance with a grain of salt.

  3. I know I am ageing when I can’t read small print with my eyes alone any more. I also I am ageing when I can’t seem to lose weight as easily as when I was younger. I know I am getting old when I see traces of white in my jet black hair.
    But whatever the changes in my physical self, I know I am the same me inside- the one who is still 10 at heart and that to me is all that matters.

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