personal appearance is important to mother and alison.
both know how to throw an outfit together.
both know what looks good on them.
both know how to talk to hair dressers
and know their way around a makeup counter.
both are beautiful, beautiful women.

did it skip a generation?
that would be the easiest explanation.

but actually, there was a time when
i was pretty
when i threw together
strikingly novel
and interesting outfits

but then responsibilities grew
while finances shrunk,
so i learned to
on things other than my appearance.

i told myself
that being pretty was
and unimportant.

and that’s true


i still want to
lose weight
and feel
comfortable in the
beauty parlor
instead of feeling like
i should apologize
and explain my presence
and be grateful that the
hair dresser doesn’t
see my name on the book
and put a bag over her head.

i want to feel

but there’s an important difference:

i cared most
about what other people
thought about me,
felt like my appearance
defined me
and was the sum total
of what i had to offer.

now, though,
it’s, well,
it’s all about me.
i want to feel comfortable.
and confident.
i want to feel pretty –
not because of what others think,
but because i want to smile
when i see me.

and i’m finding that as i
make time to write,
as i dare to speak what’s
true to me,
the weight slowly
slides away
and regardless
of how my hair looks
or what i’m wearing
or whether i’m wearing makeup or not,
i begin to feel pretty