In her song Letter to A John, Ani DiFranco sings the line,”I want you to pay me for my beauty, I think it’s only right, ’cause I have been paying for it all of my life.”

You can listen to the entire song here:

I like this song because it tackles a lot of the issues that women deal with but rarely talk about – being objectified, taken advantage of, or sexually abused. Particularly, the line I used for my trivia quote is one of my favorites, because few women actually feel beautiful, and yet many women suffer the consequences of being beautiful.

People tend to think that if a woman is skinny and attractive, her life is perfect. I have seen the pain of many beautiful women invalidated by those who think being pretty means you don’t have problems. Being a woman who doesn’t fit society’s standards of beauty is difficult, but fitting society’s standards of beauty comes with it’s own set of problems as well.

In another song (32 Flavors) Ani says “God help you if you are an ugly girl, of course too pretty is also your doom, because everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room.” Sure pretty girls are pretty, but that also means that people notice they’re pretty. Women may see them as competition and men may see them as their next meal.

We’ve even colloquially labeled girls who experienced a series of sexual abuses in childhood as having “pretty girl syndrome”, as if being pretty is some kind of disease.

Personally, I have never felt particularly ” beautiful,” but I’m fully aware that many people think that I am. It’s hard to write so honestly, and even as I do so I worry about coming across as conceited. But the fact is that I have have been dismissed and had my pain minimized by women who think I shouldn’t have any problems just because I fit into a size 6, and I have been treated like a piece of meat by a series of men who don’t see that there’s a person underneath this skin.

I’m not saying we need to throw a pity party for beautiful women, I’m just saying we should think about our biases and how we view people. We all have our prejudices. I know I have mine. It’s good to be aware of them.


Tomorrow’s Women’s History Month Trivia. Who said, “saying nothing sometimes says the most.” (hint: she’s a poet)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s