Don’t Tell Me I’m Pretty

Don’t tell me I’m pretty; I had no say in the matter of my looks. I didn’t choose what features I would have or what shape my body would take. I didn’t create the palette from which my eyes, hair, and skin were painted; nor did I hold the chisel that crafted my frame.

Tell me that my mind is lovely, or that you like the colors of my soul. If you must tell me I’m pretty, tell me I’m pretty inside.

Don’t ask me what I do. You can’t figure me out by assessing what I build with my hands; and I won’t be branded by the title that precedes or follows my name. And don’t wade in the shallow end by asking me about my religion, political party, or the zip code of my home.

It’s nothing personal; it’s just that I won’t place myself inside of a frame so others can more easily understand my art.

If you must ask me questions, ask me about possibilities instead. Ask me what I do with my passion, what my dreams are made of, or where I invest my soul.

Let’s not get weighed down with labels and categories, but set our ideas to sail on an unpredictable breeze. Let’s wildly chase after them, like children after willow seeds on the wind, as they flow freely, spontaneously changing direction and picking up speed.

You can skip the passive remarks about the weather and let’s get straight to discussing the mystical forces that control it. Get lost with me, if you dare, in passionate descriptions of its astounding beauty and the lessons it shares.

If you must talk about the weather, tell me about the way it feels when the rain seeps into your soul, or how your emotions and thoughts change with the tides, the seasons, and the moon.

Don’t tell me what’s going on in other people’s lives. The truth is, I’ve never liked the taste of stories that were distilled in someone else’s mind. I refuse to partake, even if it means leaving the table.

I mean no disrespect – it’s just that I revere the subjectivity of people’s stories too much to have them passively relayed like tabloid tales on supermarket shelves.

Tell me your own stories instead. Tell me what’s happening in your heart and what’s moving in your spirit. Tell me about the monsters crawling around in your attic, and about the loves, joys, and hopes that help you face them.

If you must tell me a story, tell me the one that keeps you up at night. And then tell me the one that rises like the sun within your heart each morning, the one that makes everything alright.

Don’t tell me what you know. Tell me who you are. Let’s discover new truths and explore big ideas. Let’s go beyond the surface and dive right down into the depth of what’s blooming in our hearts and what’s spinning along the secret corridors of our minds.

Let’s talk about the sun and the stars. Let’s explore the possibilities of other dimensions and debate about the existence of aliens, discuss the origins of the universe, or share the journey of our souls. I want to talk about the different expressions of god, and swoon over the different expressions of nature.

I want to know what your passions are. Let me see your eyes light up and hear your voice steadily grow louder as you talk about the things that excite you, that awaken the child within, the dreams and desires that burn like an internal fire.

I want to talk about ways we can heal the planet and how we can help people in need, and let’s share the lessons we’re learning as we work on helping ourselves.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want to talk about things that are real, things that matter, and that lead to lasting connections. I want to explore our passions and share our dreams, consider new ideas and ponder the mysteries, to make good use of the precious tools of language, connection, and time.

I mean no offense when I say this; it’s just the truth of who I am. I won’t speak just to fill the silence, because both speaking and silence are worth too much. I want to talk about something real, or else I’d rather not speak at all.

©2017 Cristen Rodgers


  1. Wonderful post, Cristen — we do a horrible disservice to children, and the world that they create and navigate as adults by putting emphasis on the wrong things. As a man, I’m not unaware of the whole valuing people by their looks, but as a husband and father and grandfather of women, I weep inside when I see the distortion of personalities and self worth caused by the superficial emphasis on appearance. It infects and corrupts entire cultures and societies in multiple ways.


  2. Yes let’s discuss the things that makes you wonder, the things that makes us come alive! Beautifully said!💪👊


  3. I admire your passion and depth Cristen. I have felt similarly for much of my life. And lately, I’ve learned to soften and meet people where they are and enjoying the deep conversations with those who are willing and able.


  4. What I love about you is your depth, your boundless soul. I, too, prefer silence to small talk and banality. The Universe is limitless. Why should we be any different? It’s always a treasure to see you here, Cristen.


  5. My conversations, thankfully, have trended towards deeper subjects, towards the unlimited, towards the realization of dreams. You are one of the deeper commentators in this network. It’s always gratifying to read these posts.


  6. small talk I find is for the small minded people who cant bend or become discussions with the ability to add depth and texture going deep to uncharted territory is what makes our experience here so beautiful..


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