I like things that are surface-level ugly and broken. Like dogs with one eye or three legs- better yet if it’s a one-eyed, three legged dog. Puppies are no-brainer cute. And that’s all fine and good- but also? Easy.
Don’t get me wrong- the usual pretty stuff is great. Sunsets and tulips and Christmas decorations- I love them all. But even as a teenager I was obsessed with taking pictures of broken stuff- old fences that served no purpose, shattered windows that held back no elements, rusted toys that couldn’t be played with.
Because they were once pretty too- easy pretty. But now they hold a story.
Easy-to-see pretty doesn’t make you pause to wonder. Hard-to-see pretty makes you stop and think. Makes you pause to look harder. The kind of pretty you have to search for and choose to see and listen for.
Maybe that’s part of it- maybe you can rewrite your beauty story to be ok with not being easy-to-see pretty all the fucking time. Your hair’s a mess, there’s mascara caked to your eyes, you’re wearing yesterday’s sweatpants- nothing is easy-to-see pretty about you. So you apologize or hide. “Sorry I’m not pretty today!” Ugh.
But the ones who stop to pause and look and wonder will see it and listen for it. They’ll find it if they’re looking for it. If the broken, useless fences can be photographed as art, then you can, too. No hiding, no apologies.
Make ‘em work to pause, wonder, and listen.
You don’t owe anyone easy-to-see pretty. Not ever and certainly not all the time.