No matter how confident we appear, how high our heels are or how shiny our hair is, there are days in every girl’s life when she feels ‘unpretty’. Societal conditioning often leads us to believe that we must achieve this ‘perfect’ body image that has been placed in front of us in adverts, magazines and on TV, in order to get ahead in our jobs and get with the ‘right’ men. So, on days when the pressure is too much, when a boy hints that he doesn’t like your hair or when another girl sneers at your new dress, we bring out the ice cream tubs, put on baggy sweatpants and curl up in bed, unwilling to face the cruel world outside. For a few lucky girls, these days are a rare occurrence, but for most of us (I hope, because I really don’t want to feel like the only loser who goes through this) these annoyingly depressing thoughts get us down periodically. I think the worst comes when our ‘time of the month’ decides to clash with these days of ‘unpretty’. Bloated stomachs that feel like giant bouncy castles, tired eyes that seem droopy and faces that look like blown up balloons are too much for anyone to handle! I usually deal with this by re-watching Bridget Jones for the millionth time and fooling myself into believing that Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are not unachievable dreams.
The point is, we could all use a little pick-me-up on days when we’re down, so here is my list of top five empowering songs to play when you’re feeling ‘unpretty’
1) Unpretty – TLC (c’mon, you saw that coming!): These three ladies from back in the day got it right with the video and the song. Perfect for going from down and depressed, to hopeful and contemplative about your own perception of the ‘perfect’ body image.
2) Beautiful – Christina Aguilera: The pop princess of yesteryear’s appeal to believe that “you are beautiful, no matter what they say” actually feels sincere and it’s somehow comforting to know that a girl as stunning as Ms Aguilera also goes through this harrowing ordeal of self-doubt.
3) I am not my hair – India Arie: This is such a nostalgic and beautiful song! Ms Arie sings it right when she says it’s not about her hair, it’s what’s inside that matters. So, don’t worry about the pouf, or the frizziness or even the flat head days, wear your hair down in defiance or scrunch it into a carefree bun. If they don’t see you for the awesome person that you are, they aren’t worth the pain.
4) Daughters – John Mayer: Okay, so I know this song has nothing to do with body image but isn’t it wonderful to think that a bad boy like John Mayer is trying to figure women out and appreciate them for just being themselves? It gives you this unnatural hope that John Mayer type hotties will love and cherish a girl blessed with a ‘good good heart’. Now that, certainly picks me up 😉
5) Put your records on – Corinne Bailey Rae: This is such an all-round feel-good song! The video is brilliant in itself, filled with warm tones and comforting images. The young Ms Rae doesn’t sound preachy, she sounds optimistic, encouraging and just down right helpful when she sings “you’re gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow”.
There you have it, a small list to help you feel better on ‘unpretty’ days. This is obviously just a temporary solution, the sooner we learn to love our bodies just as they are, and the sooner men learn to do the same, the better we shall all be. Don’t you agree?