Pretty – a word too feminine for its own good. Whenever we call someone pretty, our minds instantly race to those faces in front of the magazine stand that left us staring, those leggy beauties who walk the ramps across the world, the one that are all over the television and can even be spotted hung upon the billboards right from your window seat while you are stuck in traffic. These women rule, no doubt. Yet none of them feature in the top ten most powerful women in the world. Why? Because women choose to look professional over pretty in real life.

Pretty definitely requires two things: time and effort. Sometimes the women on top constantly run out of time to look pretty. Maybe that explains why most woman leaders throughout history have short bobs, be it Indira Gandhi, Angela Markel or Theresa May. Although May claims to love fashion, she doesn’t exactly come out as a fashionista to most of us, does she?

Even in the 21st century, “pretty” and “powerful” have still not managed to become mates. We are so used to watching powerful women dispose of “pretty” that the world has become quite sexist in their views on “pretty”.“Pretty” is not a word that should make us feel disempowered. Powerful women definitely have no pressure to look pretty, but the world needs to accept that being pretty doesn’t make women lose their power.

It is high time we stop perceiving pretty to be too feminine or too weak. So, the next time you see a pretty girl passing by in stilettos, don’t immediately think of her as stupid because she might just turn back and snap at you with the “stiletto wit” that she is endowed with.

1st semester, 2020.