Hi, Gorgeous

I am not beautiful. And I’m not talking about the everybody’s-beautiful-in-their-own-way beautiful. I’m talking about the rare and genetically gifted beautiful.

I am not.

I never was.

I never will be.

I’m okay with that. Seriously. I’ve got bug eyes, sloped shoulders, a hooked nose…and my hair! I could go on, but I’ll refrain.

So, I was going into the grocery store on Monday…I know. I talk about the grocery store all the time, but that’s where I spend a couple of hours of my time off a week. And that is where I generally talk to strangers.

ANYWAY. I was headed into the grocery store near my gym and some guy, very handsome and all dressed in a suit and tie, caught the door for me. And then he said, “Hi, Gorgeous.”

I smiled; because that is often how my little daughter greets me in the morning (great job Daddy) . I checked around to see who he was flattering in hopes of getting a waffle, like my baby is, or maybe a date.

He smiled, raised his eyebrows and said, “That would be you. You are beautiful.”


I think I may have blushed. It never hurts to be complimented for no reason at all, right?

He told me, “I mean that in a milk and cookies kind of way. No offense.”

Well. That’s original. Milk and cookies. Not hot, or sexy, or any of the stuff that goes with gorgeous in my mind. Not even cute. I am foodstuffs.

“None taken. Have a good one.” Well, what else was I going to do, blow a whistle and call Security? What did he do, besides smile in a non creepy way?  I moved on to the produce section, thinking about beauty.

I have been a target of the beauty industry for as long as I’ve had the pocket-money to buy my own Lipsmackers , which kind of means that the beauty industry has been my protector from real and imagined bad guys for decades. I pay way too much for conditioner. I wouldn’t dream of making a presentation or meeting a customer without lipstick.  Just in case it might make someone like me a little bit more.

Q: Who wouldn’t hire a professional who’s wearing really great shoes?
A: Nobody, that’s who. And pass me my lipstick.

I realized that I have spent the last twenty-five years trying to be something I am not. And that “something” is beautiful. I suspect that beauty may be some kind of biological crap shoot. There are things that are just more satisfying to the human eye than others: Symmetry, clarity, robust health. I am none of these things, in particular.

I’ve always practiced believing that you get what you get, and you don’t get upset. Well, you could also get plastic surgery, but that wouldn’t change the way you look, except to make you look like someone else. You might become gorgeous in the Officially Beautiful way- but not like yourself. And, chances are, you were made exactly the way you are for a good reason.
There is a popular hair coloring company that has cashed in by showing genetically beautiful women declaring “I’m worth it” on the day they’ve decided to give up the grey hair and officially become Beautiful. But aren’t things that are unbeautiful still worth it?

Is an eggplant not beautiful? How about Bok Choy?  In the impossible quest for becoming Beautiful, I have learned to give glory for what I do have: An easy smile, a kind heart, a quick mind. That’s beautiful. But in that everybody’s-beautiful-in-their-own-way kind of way, which for the purposes of this story doesn’t count.

So, I’m a Plain Jane.  Milk and cookies. .

I am not gorgeous. But, I am happy.


Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.

-Gerald Manley Hopkins

Thanks, Amen.

About thanks amen

Michelle is an artist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin whose professional experience spans working as an educator, nonprofit executive, and consultant. She has a fear of clowns and pecans, and works every day to listen at least twice as much as she talks.
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10 Responses to Hi, Gorgeous

  1. Leslye says:

    Michelle, you may be a little bit crazy. “I’ve got bug eyes, sloped shoulders, a hooked nose.” Whaa???? Do you have some sort of funhouse mirror at your house? I know you’re not looking for “everyone is beautiful” platitudes here, but seriously. Maybe it’s time for a visit to the eye doctor.

  2. Cathleen Pollock says:

    Actually, I have always thought you to be a graceful beauty. I stare at beauty. I can’t help it. The first time I stared at you was in your parent’s backyard (which is now yours). You wore your hair short and had a flowing scarf of style surrounding your elegance. I saw beauty, grace and knew of quiet intelligence. I bet the man holding the door saw it too…

  3. Lula Frankie Green says:

    Beauty is in he eye of the beholder…..and honey child you have always been a beautiful site for sore eyes, especially when you were about 5 years and you wore a gigantic natural hair style, a colorful dashiki and sunglasses as big as your face. All provided by your dad…he surely knew beauty when he saw it in his baby girl…I Love You

    • thanks amen says:

      I LOVED that hairdo, thank you very much. I needed it. And I still wear sunglasses as big as my face. I’d probably wear a dashiki just like that if I had one in my size.

      The more things change, the more they stay the same! And I love you! Still.

  4. Jessica Fredrickson says:

    No, you are beautiful. Sorry. You are. In that classic perfect skin-tone, almond-eyed, perfectly- shaped mouth way. Always have been. Now, though, you go and add the life conditioned, talent fulfilled, wise woman kind of beauty and are a complete beauty. Exceptional. Rare. Deal with it. I’d be jealous but your beauty is disarming, comforting like milk and cookies! So as I have for years, I will continue to admire all of your beauty.

  5. Eunice Lockhart-Moss says:

    You are beautiful in all kinds of ways, Wear them all ways and always! E

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