Originally Posted: October 10, 2007 - Wednesday
Cute, sexy, fly, pretty… how would you like to be defined? It seems that all four of these words are complimentary and most women would be proud to be defined as one or the other or – ideally – a combination of them all. But some women are downright tired of being called one or the other. Speaking from personal experience, I always get the "You're so cute!" And, behind my feigned flattered smile, I am thinking "If one more fucking person calls me cute, I will SCREAM." I move through life wishing to be called something other than "cute", a word that, to me, evokes images of stuffed animals, pink frou-frou ribbons and lace and the plain-Jane "girl next door". I ache to be seen as "sexy" or "pretty"… even "fly". Just call me something other than "cute."
But, there are just some titles that people can't overcome. I suspect that I will always be classified as cute. I don't have the overpowering confidence to pull off "fly", don't have the classic beauty that defines "pretty" and look too much like an adolescent to be called "sexy". So, "cute" it is. I'd rather be cute than nothing at all, I suppose…
Anyway, to all my lady friends, how about you? Would you rather be classified as cute, sexy, fly, or beautiful? Looking for a way to distinguish one word from another? Well, I'll give you some examples:
Cute – Ashanti/Rihanna/Reese Witherspoon
Sexy – Beyonce/Angelina Jolie
Fly – Kelis/Gwen Stefani/Victoria Beckham
Pretty – Halle Berry/Penelope Cruz
Now, Ashanti, Rihanna and Reese are all good company in the cute category, I must admit. But once, JUST ONCE, I wish I could join the sisterhood of sexy. Bey and Angie are DAMN good company!! I mean, even I am dumbfounded by the way they present themselves (no homo).
I have had the opportunity to discuss this issue many times with friends and it seems as though everyone wants to be called something they are not. Take, for instance, my homegirl from college – a statuesque, "brickhouse" of a woman that some would find attractive, but most found her undeniably sexy. And, as a result, men took her "sexy" appearance to mean that she was only good for… duh, having sex! Me, on the other hand, well, I had to convince the guys I dated that I really do like having sex. They'd try to hold my hand and kiss my cheek and I'm thinking: "Ok, really. What exactly is the problem? You, me, twin bed, no roommate. Let's do this!" They'd say "Are you sure?", and I would say, "Dude, I'm not 12 and I'm not afraid of being intimate with a man!" Once they got over the initial hesitancy of "taking advantage" of me = the "girl next door" a.k.a. "you remind me of my friend's little sister", things were all good. But, while I'm convincing men that I'm not a prude, my sexy homegirl is trying to convince dudes that she is not a nymphomaniac. It's amazing how quick people are to judge a book by its cover!
But, as usual, I digress…
Sexy homegirl once said, "For once, I wish a guy would look at me and think 'cute' and not 'sexy'. Maybe then someone would take me seriously." I shot her the dirtiest look and told her "Be glad you're sexy. Cute is for the muthaphucking birds!" What can I say ladies and gents, the grass is always greener, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Another time I had this conversation (there have been many instances where this issue has come up, but I'll stick with two prime examples) was with a group of very opinionated folks over a picture of Kelis and Beyonce at some black and white party that Nas hosted in New York City. Kelis was in the foreground of the picture, chatting it up with some inconsequential person while Beyonce sneered at her in the background. Someone made a comment that Beyonce must have been upset that Kelis was stealing her shine in all her platinum blonde, red-lipped glory. Then, that brought up the debate of whether Kelis's flyness (equivalent to a man's "swagger") was preferable to Beyonce's classic prettiness. It was decided that we would have to agree to disagree on the subject because those that were on the side that Kelis's flyness was the lick were adamant that Beyonce's pretty didn't measure up. And vice versa for the Beyonce fans who couldn't believe that someone would rather be called "fly" than "pretty". But, as one friend said, "Fly beats pretty any day of the week." I (sorta) agree…
So, what does this all mean? Well… NOTHING, as a matter of fact. I discovered that this debate was hopeless when I showed my above-listed examples of "cute", "sexy", "fly" and "pretty" to a (heterosexual – if that matters) male friend. He took one look at the list and was like "She's 'cute'?! Wait, wait. She's 'sexy'?" and doubled over with laughter. I didn't find his reaction amusing, so I asked another male friend (homosexual, but fine as hell [LOL] – if that matters) what he thought of the list. He, too, found my examples to be way off-base.
As a result of these reactions, I have come to the conclusion that whether one is defined as "cute", "sexy", "fly" or "pretty", will depend on who's looking at you. In other words, the old adage rings true "Beauty [cute/sexy/fly/pretty] is in the eye of the beholder". So, I guess that means that although I have only been called "cute" to my face, maybe someone somewhere who I have encountered at some point on my life has thought that maybe I was "sexy", "fly" or "pretty", too.
Ha! Cut me some slack. A girl can dream…