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You would be so pretty if…


We had the same name. Your mother named you Pamela. My mother named me Pamela. You wanted to be called Pam. I wanted to be called Pamela. You never remembered. I did.

You use to be a model. I use to photograph models. You wore make-up, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick. I wore chapstick and a braid.

You use to say to me, “You would be so pretty if you wore make-up. Lets get together and I will help you with your make-up.”

I said, “No, thank you.”  Inside I thought, “Am I not pretty. Am I only pretty if I wear make-up?

I haven’t seen her in years. I thought she was my friend. Maybe if I wore make-up she would have called me more often. People like their friends to be the same as them. Maybe I could have asked her to wash her face.

You would be so pretty if you washed your face.”

You don’t have to be like me to be my friend. I will call you what you want to be called. Laura? I will call you Laura. Margaret? I will call you Margaret.

My name is Pamela, not Pam. I wear chapstick, brush and floss my teeth. I don’t wear make-up. I am beautiful because God made me.

And, my friend, I think you are beautiful just the way you are.

5 minute FridayWrite for five minutes. Unedited. Set your timer and write. Click on the graphic to read other 5 minute Friday writers. Or you can click, here, here, or here.

Has anyone every told you, “You would be so pretty, if…”

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Valorie MacDonald

    Pamela, I am so glad to know that I could be
    your friend on the days I wear makeup and the days I don’t. I have had friends
    like this, who seemed to want to make me in their image. The problem was that I
    had already BEEN made and I think the Maker did a pretty good job! I say
    “problem” because those who seemed to think I needed to be like them
    didn’t like it when I just went on being myself. They started bringing other
    people into the conversation… even if I wasn’t in the room. I eventually got
    tired of the gray cloud which hovered every time these friends were around,
    especially knowing how they were broadcasting their disapproval of my choices
    of no.to.very.little.makeup or calling myself not by their preferred nickname
    for me rather than Valorie, my..actual..name…?/

    And I remember that Five Minute Friday, in which I wrote about another more lasting kind of friendship; although I think I sent my post as an email instead because at the time I was still too paranoid with the idea that people may reject my offerings, which I would interpret as a rejection of me.
    Encouragement from a couple true friends (and now BOTH of my girls!) along with blogs such as your have helped me tune my ear to what GOD is saying about me and about the gifts He has placed within me. Lately life smells a little more like FREEDOM!!!

  • That tune of exaggeration is wonderfully appalling.

  • tparker

    When I weighed 430 pounds, I would get “you would be so pretty if you lost weight.” Now, I’m starting to get “you would be so pretty if you didn’t lose so much weight.” You are so right. People want their friends to have some element of sameness and if they don’t, well, we’re women, we think we have to fix it. Did a five-minute Friday of my own. Just couldn’t resist writing about the word friend.

    • I want to read what you wrote using the word friend. Will you please post a link to your story here.
      Yes, you being a healthy weight probably makes other people uncomfortable. It makes them have to look at their own bodies.

      • tparker

        Here ya go, Pamela. I had to restrain the editor in me. But it was a great exercise. teresashieldsparker.com/five-minute-friday-friend

  • I do wear makeup, but not because I think I hide anything that is unacceptable to me. I think true friends allow you to be yourself, however God created you to be. Powerful truth!

    • Hello Barbie. I agree with you. True friends allow you to be yourself. I have several friends who wear make-up and several friends who don’t. We have freedom to wear our face how ever we choose.

  • “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

    I do wear makeup. But that’s not what makes me pretty.

    True beauty comes from the God who fearfully, wonderfully knit our bodies’ inner content.

    Beautiful post, Beautiful sister.

    (From my screenview, I don’t think you have lettuce in your teeth. But if you did, Girl Code requires me to tell you.)

    Beautiful daughter of the King!

    • And I dear beautiful sister will always tell you when you have soot on your nose. I have tried to wear make-up, but it itches and I feel like my skin can’t breath. I do like to wear lip-stick and I like to wash my face on occasion.

  • Lessons to be learned include what we call others and how our words can sting and carry implied meanings.

    If this is you unedited, then wow. Just wow, Pamela. This is a very powerful piece of writing.

    • Words can really sting and they can really encourage. Thank you Stacey for encouraging me. I didn’t edit, but I did do spell check.

  • I don’t wear make up either and had that same phrase said to me several times as a teenager. Even my grandmother tried getting me “fixed up” for wedding pictures. Then they gushed over how beautiful I was after my makeover.

    I was afraid my husband (fiancé at the time) would like me better that way too. But when he saw me he had a look like, “What did they do to you?” He was afraid to tell me that he didn’t like it. But my dad saw me and said, “Girl, wash that dirt off your face!”

    Great post, Pamela!

    • Beautiful story, Anastacia. 🙂

    • You didn’t need fixing up now did you Anastacia? You were already beautiful.

      • Thank you, Pamela. No, I didn’t need fixing up. In fact if you look at my wedding pictures on my blog you’ll see I didn’t wear makeup at my wedding. I don’t think my husband would have kissed the bride if I had. LOL

  • Heard it too, tried so very hard to never let it slip with my own girls

    • Yes, that is one slip up I hope I never make. I do some of the annoying habits my mother did when I was a kid. I have to watch those.

  • Denise Oldham

    Amen, you are very beautiful, a daughter of the King, that makes you a princess.

    • I like that Denise, a princess. And my father is a King.

  • margaret simon

    Hey, I’m Margaret,and I will call you Pamela. I do wear makeup and I’ll tell you why. I was raised in the south. It’s kinda normal to wear makeup. But I met someone I really liked and I wanted to be like her. She didn’t wear any makeup, so I stopped wearing makeup. I was dating my husband at the time and I got really depressed, low self-esteem. He told me, “Just wear makeup. It makes you feel better.” And I have ever since. Not to do yard work or walk the dog, but when I get clean, I put on makeup and I feel better. It’s a part of who I am. I actually envy people who look good without makeup, like you.

    • Hello Dear Margaret. When I have to give my name at coffee shops I always give them the name Margaret. I encourage you to always be Margaret who likes to wear make-up. We have freedom to be who we are.
      Thank you for the compliment about my make-up free face. I’ll bet you are still look like a million dollars when you do yard work or walk your dog.
      Isn’t it fun that we can be like us now. We don’t have to be like someone else?

  • theories of a day-dreamer

    So true! We are beautiful the way God made us! Unfortunately, this world has fed us lies, leading us to believe otherwise. Thank you for the post!

    • Yes, the world has fed us lies. Thank you for stopping by and you are very welcome.

  • Loved this. And I’m sure so many will resonate with your message. Great post.

  • Thankfully my mother never said that to me. She did tell me to stop biting my fingernails. Yes, mom’s should be your friend too.
    I will be your friend Kathleen and I think you are pretty just the way you are. Please tell me Kathleen if I have lettuce in my teeth though. I would be prettier if I picked out the lettuce.

    • okay if you will tell me if my skirt got tucked into my waistband, preferably not in front of everyone.