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What to do when “pretty isn’t pretty”.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at West Chester chapter.

Along with the global teenage community (and those in that mindset), I can’t stop listening to Olivia Rodigro’s sophomore album, Guts. Of course, I have my favorites, one being the second to last track titled “pretty isn’t pretty.” 

Like most of the album, “pretty isn’t pretty” speaks to the enraging experience of being a girl in a social media-ridden world. This song is an encore of similar themes found on Sour with “jealously, jealously.” While both songs follow different tempos, they drive home the same point of feeling inadequate in the presence of others, even digitally. 

What separates the two songs is the view that Olivia writes from. “Pretty isn’t pretty” shows Olivia and anyone belting along in her inability to escape the media’s perception of beauty. These unrealistic images follow her from social media to newsstands to posters on the walls. She isn’t seeking these messages out– they’re just everywhere. 

It can be tiring trying to keep up when it feels like there is no escaping the ideal body, face, and hair. But what if you didn’t need to keep up? Here are some mental exercises that I use to keep myself sane in this maddening world.

1. Where’s The requirement?

One day, I realized that it is not listed in my responsibilities to be drop-dead gorgeous. I am a student. I am an athlete. I am a creative. I am not an actress, model, or influencer. I am not required to fit into the mold for beauty. My job is to be self-aware, which will get me closer to appreciating myself than worrying about my appearance. 

2. Just one moment in time

I often obsess over pictures of myself when they are taken from my “bad side.” I think about how I’m positioned in public: which people are seeing me from my left or right. Pictures can be taken at any angle, but one must realize that these angles do not accurately represent what they look like. A picture is a two-dimensional, millisecond moment in time that no longer exists. We are living beings always in motion, and quite frankly, we look better in motion. When I stare at a picture of myself for too long, I remind myself that that version of myself doesn’t exist in the present.  

3. turn the light off

I was told a life-changing analogy over the summer: “If you don’t like sleeping with the lights on, turn them off.” Often, we feel like the stressors of our lives are out of our control, but it can be surprising how much power we possess. I used this saying to help me manage the content I was seeing on social media. On Instagram, I unfollowed, blocked, and muted whoever and whatever groups I needed to preserve my image of myself. If those images aren’t attacking my feed, then it’s like they don’t exist. 

Your Pretty is pretty

Take these few strategies with you as you continue to blast Guts and mold the world you wish to see yourself in. It will take time but you will see that your pretty, is pretty.

Ellie Perrin

West Chester '26

Ellie is a sophomore Media and Culture major with minors in Journalism and French at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is the Vice President and Co-Senior Editor of WCU's HC Chapter. She is constantly scribbling in her "idea" journal her unique observations of the world and her role in it. With interests ranging from reading Fitzgerald to Vogue or from watching Shameless to Trisha Paytas Tiktoks, Ellie's writing comes from a holistic perspective. She is excited to use her world view for her writing and add to her portfolio.