When I worked full time in corporate America, I was always polished and groomed at the office. I worked in an environment where presentation and details made a huge impact on the perception of one’s sense of professionalism.
That said, it was always so refreshing to become “un-pretty” during weekends.
What does it mean to be “un-pretty”? First, let’s take a look at what “pretty” means:
I define ‘pretty’ as being polite, pleasant and polished. “Pretty” is the very essence of being a lady — coiffed hair, a manicure, a poise presentation, warm, approachable and socially graceful. (Think of a house party’s hostess – friendly and sociable). Someone “pretty” offers you coffee and cookies when you visit their homes. The “pretty” girl tells you how great you look (to simplify the concept); she is concerned about whether or not you’re comfortable and considers what your preferences are.
When I use the term “un-pretty”, I’m not implying that I made an effort to look unattractive (although, a lot of times, this was the case). What I mean is, my style of presentation was less ladylike and lacked the polish and niceties one would expect from a pageant-trained woman.
How does one achieve a “pretty” look?
Feminine make up highlighting the shape of one’s eyes + full lips + groomed brows and hairstyle + polished ready-to-face-the-camera style + tailored and put-togehter – any piece of hair out of place
I love the “un-pretty” side of my closet as much as the polished and tailored pieces I own. It’s necessary, at times, to wear wrinkled shirts, athletic shoes, cotton tees and unruly hair. I say this because I think it’s an advantage to be comfortable even without having to project the socially-constructed version of “girl”. You can be attractive in various ways — wearing pearls and a tiara or sneakers and a baseball cap.
To me, an un-pretty style can convey the gritty sexiness of Marlon Brando’s Stanley Kowalski.
Un-pretty means dressing with style without having to make a lot of effort — in So Cal this laid-back style is one that many non- L.A. natives try very hard to emulate. It’s the confidence in one’s self without having to look like a doll who took two hours to apply make up.
It’s an image that actors and models (who spend their working days in full make-up) naturally have on their days off. A look that conveys the understanding that if they wanted to, they could very well shave their scruff and be as pretty as they come. The “unpretty” girl doesn’t necessarily say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ in a bubbly voice. She may give you a smirk or a nod of acknowledgement if she’s pleased with you.
Simplified, the “unpretty” girl asks you for a smoke without taking into consideration whether or not you approve of her smoking. She is not as self-conscious as her socially-graceful “pretty” girl counterpart.
How does one achieve this un-pretty too-cool-to-care style?
“undone hair” + cotton tee + element of relaxed or athletic gear – bubbly persona – string of pearls – “matchy-matchy” accessories + grit + attitude…
It’s an image that says, “I’ve got better things to do than try and please everyone I encounter on the street. I’m more than just eye-candy and amusement — I’ve got more important roles to play.”
I’m sure Sienna Miller (above) is a very pleasant and classy lady. However, I can guarantee that there are probably times when she could care less about what flavor cupcake would make your day. On those days, if you stopped her in the street to chat with her about your exciting new puppy and tell her that it would be really cool to have a picture of you two together, she would somehow let you know that there are other priorities in her day that are a bit more important than hearing your about your puppy’s outfit and how much you’d love to update your Facebook profile picture.
Do you have an “un-pretty” side? How do you celebrate it?