I cannot count the number of times people have asked me if I’m into modeling.

My entire existence until this day has revolved around one fact and one fact only – I am a pretty face. People have come and people have gone and everyone has given me only a certain set of adjectives – beautiful, pretty, sexy, and good-looking. That’s all! Because my pretty face is the only thing they can and have always seen.

Now I know what you must be thinking. What an arrogant and ungrateful piece of…! Because that’s how it has always been. Every time I start to tell someone this, they suddenly raise their eyebrows and think I’m either fishing for compliments or I’m ungrateful and snobbish. But for once, just once, hear me out before making that snap judgement.

Suddenly, that’s all I become – a model, an actress, an escort or a trophy wife.

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All these years of my life, I cannot count the number of times people have smiled at me and told me how beautiful I am. And no matter how much I respect the compliments, I know that’s all they think of me. Because for them, the phrase ‘beauty with brain’ is such a big deal. It’s like you have one of the either. You absolutely cannot have both! And so, when they see me, they just see me. They shut off their ears because in their snap judgement, they’ve assumed that I will definitely not have anything intellectual to say or that I will say 2+2=5.

And when they see me, they assume I’m either into modeling or acting. It’s like all the other career options have shut down for me. When I’m seen with a wealthy man, they suddenly label me as an escort. There have been endless moments where elders have come to me, pinched my cheeks and told me that I will easily get ‘picked’ in the market of matrimonies. And suddenly, that’s all I become – a model, an actress, an escort or a trophy wife.

Try opening your eyes and mind to the fact that I am so much more than just a pretty face.

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Why? Why can no one bother to look beyond this face? Why is it so hard for you to comprehend that I may be interested in Science or Commerce? Why do you laugh and snigger at me when I say I may choose a career in Math? Why do you assume that I can only be the cheerleader and not a sportsperson? Why am I stereotyped as the beautiful girl with an empty head?

In this narrow-minded world, I refuse to let ‘beauty’ stand for big eyes, a clear and glowing skin, a symmetrical nose and the perfect pout. Isn’t holding the door for someone beauty? Isn’t passion beauty? Isn’t love for another human beauty? Isn’t intellect beauty?

So the next time you see me, try opening your eyes and mind to the fact that I am so much more than just a pretty face. I am not a damsel in distress that needs to be saved by ‘the hero’. I can most definitely break your bones and then name exactly which ones I’ve broken.

And lastly, my advice to every woman out there is that, darling, you can be a pretty face but make it a point to be so much more!

 

Love,
A pretty face with a prettier soul!



Author: Zainab Haji

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