Pretty? I’d Much Rather Be Beautiful

Me... Looking pretty
Me... Looking pretty

Is this image pretty? Maybe. Is it cold? Clinical? Definitely.

Last week I read this post from a woman saying “Please don’t tell me I’m beautiful” and it brought to the surface a long held belief of mine. In my opinion, beautiful is one of the highest compliments you can be paid. Beautiful is one of the best things you can be. Why? Because it’s not about what you look like, it’s about who you are.

I’ve spent a fair portion of my life being told I’m pretty. Especially when I was incredibly thin, and being as tall as I am, “you’ll be a model” was a commonly heard phrase. To the extent that I was actually planning to become a model, so I could follow my true dream of singing. I figured with so many people telling me each day I would be a model, they must know what they’re talking about… Right? Not so much.

The thing was, I learnt early on that being told you’re pretty doesn’t really get you anywhere I’d want to go. It doesn’t really mean much. It didn’t make people like me, it didn’t make boys like me, and it didn’t really make any difference at all except that people, usually adults, would say so. Besides, I didn’t really see what those people were talking about. I wasn’t pretty, my ears stuck out, I was too tall, my arms too thin and my breasts too small, all of these things I was reminded of on a fairly regular basis by those my own age. Who, in my opinion, were perhaps a little more honest.

In my life, so much focus has been placed on how I look. Too much. Too thin, too fat, pretty, or not. And as I’ve grown up, I’ve learnt it’s all bollocks. Pretty, whether I was or I wasn’t, was never something I aimed for. Never something that meant anything to me because when I looked at the people I admire, they were so much more than pretty. They were beautiful.

Beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is when your soul shines out through your eyes. Beauty is when people want to be around you, when people are drawn to you because of who you are. Beauty is about the person you are. Beauty is kindness, caring, humility, empathy… Maybe I’m pretty, maybe I’m not, I don’t really care – I’d much rather be beautiful. Pretty fades, but beauty never does.

Here are 5 people I think are beautiful. Some I have met, some I have not, but each of these people encompass what I believe to be beauty. I’ve mostly selected people I have met. These are some of the people who light my face up with a smile when I look at them not because of what they look like (although each are good looking) but because of who they are, and how it shows through in everything they do.

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay is a motivational speaker, TV personality and KiKi & Tea Contributor. She is beautiful because she is positive, funny, passionate and she genuinely cares about others. She has a website here.

Judy Garland

The only celebrity I’m including, Judy had an exceptionally tough life and yet she never failed to gift the world with her passion, her talent, and her amazing optimism. Taken from us too soon, Judy is someone I greatly admire.

Kerri Sackville

Kerri Sackville is an author and blogger, a mother and a wife. She has an incontrovertible sense of humour, and an amazing way with words. Kerri is beautiful because she never fails to entertain, educate or inform. Her blog is here.

Lee Ridley (aka. Lost Voice Guy)

Lee Ridley, more famously known as Lost Voice Guy, is one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure to talk to. He is humble, hilarious, and caring. Lee is a stand up comedian, who cannot speak. If that’s not reason enough to see how beautiful he is, just look at that photo!

Rachelle Chapman

Rachelle is my best friend. She is shy, bitingly witty, humble and so caring. She has seen me through good times, and bad. She is a teacher, a profession fitting of someone who has dedicated their life to helping others. In high school I nicknamed her “my conscience”. She consistently tries to do the right thing, whether popular or not, and has a laugh that lights up a room.

Do you think beauty is more than looks? Who do you think is beautiful?

Note: I didn’t include my husband in this list, because frankly it’s a bit of a given that I consider him extremely beautiful.

Judy Garland


  • John James

    I’m assuming I was #6 on that list… 😉

  • Mandi Aylmore

    I do think beauty is more than looks. It has to be.

    There are beautiful people on the outside whose hearts are full of hate and they are horrible people.

    But then there are those who aren’t physically beautiful but would go to the ends of the earth for others, and are just perfect examples of what humanity should be.

    • Tamsin Howse

      I’d take the second kind ANY DAY and I think it shows in their face.

    • Lucy

      ‎”Life’s too short to spend hoping that the perfectly arched eyebrow or hottest new lip shade will mask an ugly heart”

  • Absolute Amy

    Amazing post Tamsin – beauty is so much more than what you look like, it’s who you are. Beauty comes from somewhere deep within, it’s how you interact with other people, how you contribute to the world and to others. A beautiful person is someone who always sees the good in other people, in situations and who makes you laugh when you want to cry. My hubby is one of those people and so are my best friends :) A xx

    • Tamsin Howse

      Spot on, Amy, SPOT ON. xx

  • Lucy

    I’ve spent so much of my life striving for an idea of beautiful that didn’t exist – physical perfection. I hope that now I can work on being the most beautiful person I can be – one who is happy, caring, generous, and one that people WANT to be around. Sometimes we get lost in the process of trying to achieve the wrong kind of beautiful that out natural beauty is quashed beneath a facade that doesn’t do our true selves justice!

    • Tamsin Howse

      AMEN LUCY!! YES YES YES!! Who you are shines through, in everything, and that is where true beauty lies.

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