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Pretty Girls

This author is a recipient

of the Sigma Tau Delta Award

Sigma Tau Delta Awarde

Isabelle Nelson

is a Senior majoring in Secondary Education, English, and ESL. She is currently student teaching and is involved in Quercus and Triota.

Pretty, pretty girls in the candy shop. The candy shop

with pink bubble gum. The gum that teaches them to

blow Hubba Bubba bubbles with their pretty glossed

mouths so that boys might fall in love with them.

Pretty, pretty girls. Girls who wear dresses because

their mamas taught them that’s how to be pretty,

because pretty means attention and attention is

currency. The girls and their mamas together, arm in

arm, purchase “pretty” off drug-store shelves. The

mamas paint their lips in pastels and put their little

girls' hair in pigtails. “You look so pretty, doll,” they

say. Doll. Doll-eyed and ditzy, the pretty girls dance

and laugh. Laughing daddies load their guns because

their baby girls have grown too pretty. Pretty. Pretty

girls grown, girls no longer, still pretty. Pretty at the

high school dance, with some boy’s hand on their

waist. Pretty girls in the locker room, learning to be

even prettier by not saying no, or simply not saying

anything. Pretty girl smile. Smile. “Smile, it makes

you pretty.” The old men always say that to girls. The

old men love the pretty. Pretty. Pretty girls laugh at

the men. They laugh without meaning it. Sweet and

soft, little giggle laughs. Soft. Soft like pretty girl skin

and hair. Soft like pretty girl backbones. Bones that

pretty girls become.

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