I don’t exist to be your aesthetic

You don’t think I’m pretty? Oh no

Unconventional. Unique. Enchanting. Interesting. Stunning. Whatever you call an unconventional looking woman, just remember there is more than a face.

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Don’t worry, this isn’t a pityfest. I’m gradually learning to enjoy my ‘striking' features. Not that it would matter either way. Ultimately, my face is a mixture of genetics, sports injuries and contouring. I’ve achieved far more than a killer brow. So why do people act like a woman being ugly is the end of the world?

I can actually write. Yep. I am a good writer. I’ve been published, I’ve won awards and I’ve gone viral. Saying that I wasn’t would just be a lie, more commonly called ‘modesty’, a tool used to trick women into thinking insecurity was a good thing. If I was a dude, how I looked in the wake of that would be largely irrelevant. Some serious turnips have won awards and become acclaimed authors, and no one has turned round and gone “yeah well you’re ugly” like it was the mother of all putdowns. Literally no male author, young and amateur like myself, or high flying, is impaired by their jawline.

Taking this up a step: Ovid, Shakespeare and Stephen King are all solid 4s at best. But, unlike Emily Bronte, Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf, no one has sneered at their looks. No one refers to the ‘miracle' of a plain man achieving anything. If I marvelled at Ted Hughes ‘overcoming aesthetic setbacks to become a top poet' you’d look at me like I was a loon. And yet there are whole chapters dedicated to the perceived ugliness of historical authors who are female.

This is seriously annoying. The shape of my nose does not in anyway inhibit my ability to write about a murder, scribbled some prose or rant about Trump. And yet, time and time again, men who disagree with me (shock) comment on how ugly I am, how weird my face looks, how odd my eyes are. This is a visual ad hominem that belittles me down to a gene vehicle.

You feel powerful and intelligent? Yeah, well, no man would breed with you. You are worthless in my mind.

Maybe I’m not on this planet for les bebes. Maybe, in my writing, learning, exploring and networking, I find value outside mating. Maybe I want to be valued for more than my ability to attract a male. Maybe, just maybe, whether I am ugly or not bears no impairment on my ability to write.

Crazy huh.

Now shove off. I’m working.

Written by

24 year old with an awful lot to say about everything. Opinions entirely my own. Usually. madelaine@madelainehanson.co.uk

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