Pretty and Smart is concept born in 2012 after a long overdue breakup. It inspired me to become a stronger more independent version of myself but also to pass it on.
The concept has since become a community of women sharing these values and tools to help women achieve the ultimate Pretty and Smart status.
Here is what it means to me:
Pretty shines through your personality and the way you put yourself together.
Smart is about knowing, thinking and deciding for yourself. Put them together and you become:
Emotionally, Financially and Intellectually Independent (#EFII)™.
That is what I want for all the women in my life–and it is what I share with you on this blog.
Because at the end of the day, I believe You CAN have it ALL.
PRETTY AND SMART: THE STORY
BEAUTY IS HOW YOU FEEL INSIDE, AND IT REFLECTS IN YOUR EYES. IT IS NOT SOMETHING PHYSICAL.
– SOPHIA LOREN
Everyone has a story. Everyone has lived events in their life that have changed them completely or allowed them to go back to their roots. For me, it was both. I am fortunate to have grown up with a loving and strong family that gave me the greatest tools an individual can ask for: resilience and independence. I was also fortunate that the men in my family regard women with respect and value. Those values my family taught me became extremely crucial during certain periods of my life.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
Without getting into details, as this is not an attempt to exploit misfortunes nor to point judgements at someone, those specific values were what I needed the most in 2012 when I finally gathered my courage, walked out and called off an engagement. It was a long overdue breakup.
Following that breakup, I had nowhere to go so my father took me in. I stayed with him, his wife and my 4 year-old sister, at the time, Sabrina.
BE THE PERSON YOU WISH YOUR SISTER, DAUGHTER, FRIEND TO BE.
Sabrina and I became extremely close. She would watch me get ready in the morning, help me do my make up, help me pick outfits, help me clean up my messy room, and take afternoon naps together. She watched my every move. I thought she was the most adorable little person in the world. She was just so pretty. I couldn’t help myself but to tell her hundreds of times in a day; “you’re so pretty”.
However, one day, it hit me. I felt I wasn’t inculcating the right messaging to her by emphasizing so much on the word “pretty”. I decided I wanted to continue on telling her she is pretty. I felt that, at her age, beauty had no barriers nor specific definition. I felt it was right to continue on calling her pretty so she feels so unconditionally regardless of weight, skin colour, height or any other attributes she yet does not understand. BUT, I also felt “pretty” wasn’t enough and should NEVER be enough. So, I added “and Smart!” and forever barred calling her just “pretty”. There it was -“you’re pretty AND smart!”. Somehow, it even transformed itself in a hand gesture. She would say “I’m pretty and smart” simultaneously grabbing her pony tail when saying “pretty” and touching her forehead when saying “smart”.
On Halloween, she went trick or treating with her mother. She was dressed as a princess- her choice. She would rush door to door, knocking, and enthusiastically saying “trick or treat!” just to see her bag fill up with more candies. At a door, a lady opens, and says “Omg, you’re so pretty!”, quickly with enthusiasm Sabrina jumps, points at her forehead and says “AND SMART!” There it was. That magic moment.
As her mother recounts the story, I couldn’t help but to feel an immense moment of pride. My sister had learn that pretty wasn’t enough and that smart must follow. But what hit me harder was the power of repeated words and positive messaging. It made me realize even more, that truly, my sister was indeed watching and following my every move.
It gave me the motivation and strength to continue my journey towards being “pretty and smart”. Following the breakup, it took an even deeper meaning. I told myself I would NEVER again drag an unhealthy situation because of fear of not knowing where to go, what to do with myself, etc. So, I decided that in order to truly call myself Pretty and Smart, I needed three key things- to be Emotionally, Financially and Intellectually Independent. Which I’d like to think, I have accomplished since.
So I welcome you to follow me into this continued journey, AND to begin YOURS. This is the Foundation, so that you CAN have it ALL.
THE ONLY THING MORE BEAUTIFUL
THAN THE WOMAN THAT
KNOWS WHAT SHE WANTS
IS THE WOMAN WHO ISN’T
WAITING ON ANYBODY ELSE
TO GET IT FOR HER
-Rob Hill Sr.