When I was a kid I loved showing off how smart I was.
I read at an early age and always excelled at school.
Yes, I was that kid in class.
And I loved the attention.
I loved being smart.
Yes, I was a dork.
Then one day, it all changed.
I grew out of my awkward phase, got some contact lenses, figured out what to do with all that hair, had my braces removed, and was finally allowed to wear make-up.
I started to be more interested in how to expertly apply eye shadow than memorizing all the Presidents.
And the praise I received changed.
I still excelled at school, rose my hand first, and gave smarty pants answers, but no one really noticed.
Now instead of being “so smart”, I was “so pretty”
And I loved it!
But it changed everything.
As an attractive female I learned that using my looks would get me what I wanted faster than a valid and well-thought out argument.
Which I learned as I got older is not appreciated by other women.
Quite frankly it made me lazy and once or twice, almost got me into trouble.
It took me a few years, but I’ve realized being pretty isn’t all that important.
You can’t put pretty on a resume.
It’s not a marketable skill.
Most of the time I’ve found it to be a hindrance in my professional life.
We need to start praising our young girls for their achievements and skills.
NOT their appearance.
Being pretty isn’t an achievement.
It’s a happy accident of genetics.
It’s time we stop treating it like the holy grail.