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My estranged real father made me feel that I was pretty; he teared up when looking at me in a party dress, in a wedding dress, in jeans sitting on his couch.

My husband has always made me feel that I am pretty (short hair, long hair, weight up, weight down); perhaps that’s why I married him.

My Aunt Georgia, who embodies femininity, fun and prettiness has a way of making me feel, and actually wanting to be, pretty. She makes me feel that pretty is fun.

I could stop right there. I’ve been blessed in my life with these three making me feel so wonderful – who could ask for more than that?

This is all rather odd to me though as I don’t think much about pretty. I’m definitely a girly-girl, but I’ve never been a princess or a diva or had my looks be my most defining characteristic. (I can only hope that my smile has been my defining feature.)

I do always wear make-up which I can apply in five minutes flat at the age of fifty. I’ve told friends that I wear lipstick not just as a beauty statement, but because my lips become too dry and chapped if I don’t.

But I write about pretty with really such a different meaning. Pretty is in the eye of the beholder and can be a huge positive in the person feeling that way….with absolutely no connection truly with how they look. Others looking at us are much less critical and far more appreciative than when we look at ourselves.

Sometimes, it’s the special moments in our lives – the special dinner at a restaurant, the evening out at a show or concert, the candlelight and conversation when it’s not forced or rushed – that exemplify life itself. It’s these special highlights that we sometimes call upon in hard times or angry times to keep things in perspective and try to see the positive.

When I, for just a moment now and then, feel pretty and that I’ve tried and made the effort, and see that those with me appreciate the effort, I can feel a little taste of the elixir of life itself and all seems good. And it has nothing to do really with how I look.

It’s our sparkle and our attitude that will impact others.

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