Pretty is Not Worthy of Everything You Will Be.

Via on Sep 9, 2010

Nor should it be. Lets teach our daughters to be pretty intelligent and pretty amazing.

The mainstream culture floods the cultural space with streams of images  of models and celebs perfectly coiffed and polished by a team of professionals.

This narrow and obsessive focus on an unrealistic beauty standard has increasingly  reduced our girls and women to their position in the beauty hierarchy.

In an environment that views a woman’s most valuable asset as her ass and publicly disses female politicians based on their looks, Katie Makkai’s poetry slam is a welcomed relief.

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Originally featured at Feminist Fatale.

About Melanie Klein

Melanie Klein, MA is a writer, speaker and Associate Faculty member at Santa Monica College, teaching Sociology and Women’s Studies. She attributes feminism and yoga as the two primary influences in her work. She is committed to communal collaboration, raising consciousness, media literacy, facilitating the healing of distorted body images and promoting healthy body relationships. She has worked with the new citizen journalists of the LA Academy of Global Girl Media and the peer-educators of J.A.D.E (Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating) on ways to tap into the power of their own voice. She is an expert contributor in the areas of media literacy and body image issues for Proud2Bme, a NEDA project. She is the adviser of the Santa Monica College Leadership Alliance and the founder and co-coordinator of WAM! Los Angeles. She founded FeministFatale.com and is a contributor at Adios Barbie, Intent.com, MindBodyGreen and Ms. Magazine’s blog. Her essay on yoga, body image and feminism appears in Curvy Voices and her extended chapter on the same topic is included in the anthology, 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice. She has been featured on HuffPostLive, KPFK’s Feminist Magazine and The Point on The Young Turks. She is featured in the forthcoming book, Conversations With Modern Yogis. Twitter: @feministfatale

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21 Responses to “Pretty is Not Worthy of Everything You Will Be.”

  1. candicegarrett says:

    love it! This video never fails to make me laugh and cry.

  2. Melanie Klein Melanie says:

    Thanks, Candice. Those are my sentiments exactly. It is powerful and the ability to evoke multiple emotions at once. That's why I watch it over and over and try to share it with as many people as possible.

  3. ARCreated says:

    her words are like songs from heaven. her passion, her beauty, her fierceness is a gift. This made me weep joys of relief that someone gets it…thank you so much. I want to scream it from the rooftop!! Blessings!

  4. pauloone says:

    Love this video!

  5. eleanor says:

    her words resonate in me. thank you so much for sharing this!

  6. Scott Robinson YeshuDas says:

    Thanks for posting this, Melanie; it is indeed wonderful and moving stuff. I have two daughters myself, ages 5 and 7, and this subject weighs on my mind, too.

    My only concern is that that string of "you will be" statements at the end piles on an awful lot of pressure, too (though obviously of a different order than the "pretty" obsession.) My wife and I decided long ago that what we want our girls to be is happy–secure, loved, loving, kind and happy. If you aren't those things, "amazing" can be just another expectation; if you are, it follows naturally.

    • Melanie Klein Melanie says:

      Perhaps, she could have said "you can be…" but, as far as the poetry goes, that seemed to work best. I completely get your point! I hope people hear it as options not a mandate.

  7. Leslie says:

    Pretty amazing. I will be sharing with my beautiful daughter, who is so much more than pretty, because she has been raised to understand what inner beauty is.

  8. Julia Lee julialeeyoga says:

    This is FANTASTIC.

  9. Allie Bombach ajBombach says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, phew… I get teary-eyed every time I watch it.

  10. Melanie Klein Melanie says:

    I'm so glad you all love it as much as I do. I get choked up every time, too. It is pure beauty and power.

  11. Dylan Barmmer Dylan says:

    Yeah Melanie!

    Pretty awesome.

    -The Mad Yogi Poet

  12. flosheffield says:

    Inspiring

  13. When I recently discovered your web site and started following along, I had been thinking I'd post my extremely 1st comment. I don't know just what to express except that I actually liked reading through. Wonderful writings. I'll maintain on visiting this web site much more generally.

  14. victoriainspace says:

    that shook me to the bone

  15. [...] been told that “pretty” is the magical elixir for everything that ails us. If we’re pretty we’re bound [...]

  16. Viola B. says:

    This poem is really good i suggest that every young lady and women see this video. Is very touching and it state thats beauty is not all ways about whats outside but is how we are as women and young ladys. Society shows bueaty in a whole diffrent way rather then personality, kindness, sweet and loving.

  17. Madeleine Marcicano says:

    Wow! This video really made a good point. We go out of our ways to look a certain way and feel a certain way because we are not satisfied or content with ourselves. Other people tell us to go by the media and so we follow it because we are insecure and too afraid to feel joy in ourselves. Girls are raised to learn the "Beauty Myth" which is unrealistic to actually look the way models or magazines make some women look like.

  18. her {of her uncaged words} says:

    this is stupid.

    if she was physically pretty she would not have wasted her time writing and reciting this poem.

    and if she was physically pretty and did waste her time writing and reciting this poem, it would not be well received.

    i really dislike that people feel the need to put one thing down in order to uplift something else.

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