Should We Ban ‘Pretty’?

29 April 2014 by

World-famous Victoria’s Secret model and universal goddess Doutzen Kroes has revealed that she doesn’t want her unborn daughter to aspire to being pretty. Or beautiful, or anything else associated with the industry which once earned her $6.9million in one year, and put her firmly on Forbes’ list of highest paid models. Ironic, yes. Painfully so. But, satire aside, is she right?

“Though I love my job,” Doutzen, who is already a mum to a little boy, Phyllon Joy Gorré, continued, “I'm not changing the world. I'd love for her to study and to have different aspirations. We need to teach girls they can become presidents, and it's not about beauty all the time."
Her comments come in the week that Beyoncé released the video for her latest single, Pretty Hurts, which shows the lengths women have to go to in order to ‘fit in’ and pressure to be beautiful. Both serve as a poignant reminder of how women are currently viewed in the world. But are parents really doing damage when they tell their daughters they’re cute?

On the face of it, no. But down the line, an emphasis on female beauty can perpetuate sexism in society. What we tell our children is how they should value themselves and others. If we teach girls to assess each other’s worth - and their own - on looks, how can we ever expect men to do the opposite?

Maybe Doutzen and Bey are onto something - is banning ‘pretty’ really the answer?


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