You don’t gotta ask me if I’m pretty. I’ma look in the mirror and say, “Shoot, I’m A’ite”. I mean…you could ask that boy I spent that evening with, in his front seat and he might say “Yeah, she aite.” See, the problem with “pretty” is the long hair and long nails…the pressure that if that bantu knot-out don’t turn out right, bae might look at you like it’s an epic fail. Why don’t you ask mama if I’m pretty? She’ll look at me and say “Dia, you’re God’s most precious gift to the world.” She’ll wine and dine the words on her tongue as they flow into my ears…and paint a perfect picture of how I’m as rare as a pearl. Rarity. Does one respect the quality of being rare or pretty? I think I was as rare as can be, letting my tongue roll off some lips…just for the sake of “feeling pretty”. The world tells me…it’s a necessity. “Oh no man is gonna marry you if you don’t dress yourself up, make yourself look representable, and be…’pretty'”. The problem with pretty is…it ain’t me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m now thankful that I look in the mirror and like what I see. But, baby, I’m not gonna stoop to pretty for no man just to satisfy something the eyes can see. Nah, that ain’t me. The truth is…Pretty is, as pretty does. And pretty? It is not me. Honestly, I’d prefer to taste like candy. With a soul as sweet as can be, yet sometimes sour. I’ll make you addicted with a personality of gold within the timespan of…just…one…hour. What is time as it relates to “pretty”? A cute face will fade and ovaries go to shade, and pretty? Well, pretty just…gets you laid. I think Peter was right. My friend Peter said, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” My dear Peter, darling, you’re right. The problem with pretty is that it puts worth out of sight…it says that the only thing that matters is that your waist be smaller than your hips and your cellulite be kept tight. That ain’t right. Matter of fact, what’s not right is that we’re dashed in pink straight out the womb…told to be elegant… and that we’re better seen and not heard all the days of our lives until we’ve reached our tomb. If life’s the butterfly, then “pretty”? Oh, my girl”pretty” is the cocoon. Think about the cage she puts us in, in efforts to trap us. She lets us look in the mirror after a shower and criticize what society has made out of her. So, now we use twisting creams to get that curly curl. And Melanin envies light skin because “Oh he likes THAT girl.” I mean, my homegirl has really been made to be superficial. If I ain’t pretty, then why can’t I stop smiling at myself? You know the answer. Kanye said, “Cause they make us hate ourselves and love they wealth.” I guess that’s why I got this big bin of shoes. Because I need pretty shoes for class, pretty shoes for church, pretty shoes to go to the club in a pretty dress and make…these..hips…work. All for Miss Pretty. We post the walls at the club because we only wanna be what the men see? Nah nah nah. Incorrect, Miss Pretty. Cause when me and my girls go out, it’s not (always) about finding a daddy. See, we find comfort in each other’s pretty as we record those countless vids…and dancing on tables like “Nicki Minaj, who?” We the only baddies. I think it’s time for you to take a step out of my house. Because for so long, you’ve invaded, making it seem like pretty was the only way…that love was the only way…that “feeling pretty” could only be accomplished naked. Miss Pretty, you’re no longer welcomed. Not in my world with a little girl that looks to me with a sparkle in her eye. I will not let you be the reason, she turns 13 and starts to cry, because some boy broke up their “fake” relationship. You will not make her look in the mirror and feel worthless. You will not play with her heart, invade her mind, and let her mask her beauty behind as much makeup as a clown in the annual circus. You know what I think? I think you’ve become conceptualized by people who have forgotten…at one time, they weren’t pretty either. They woke up some mornings as if they were unrecognizable creatures…and now with money and the fame, all of a sudden, it’s just easier. Truth is, we’ve all become acquainted with our friend at least once. She danced on our hearts, tore it out of our chests, and then left us to pick up the pieces no matter the durance. But…I think…one day it just finally clicks. That we needed her despite how problematic she is, we needed “pretty” to teach us everything up under the sun about “doin me”. How wonderfully marvelous it is to see…the moon up at it’s peak surrounded by darkness…skin glowing…lips speaking…hands holding…now that’s pretty. How exceptional it is to have…a love so unconditional that even when you’re lost…you’re already found. Pretty can’t do that. She can’t wipe my tears when I still don’t understand why I can’t have control. Pretty can’t hold my hand when all I want is the man that’s SUPPOSED to be mine yet he makes me feel utterly alone. Pretty proves to be little in all these battles. That’s because she is. The problem exists that pretty can’t do anything but…be pretty. Don’t let her drown you. Baby girl, if your radiance is like the ocean…you keep shining blue. You keep flowing freely, giving love no matter what you go through. That’s something a big booty and perfect eyebrows can’t do for you. Shine bright, boo. Cause pretty is as pretty does. And pretty? That ain’t you. You are absolutely majestic, coming from pure gold and jewels. Baby girl, you can’t forget today’s a new day, just like the great Doc said. And today? Today, you are you, that is truer than true. There’s NO ONE alive... that’s YOUer than…YOU.