A Sad Scary Clown and What Pretty Looks Like

While I am loving wrap bracelets these days I can’t forget about my good friend the cuff bracelet. I’ve been cuffing it now for a long time and cuffs really do make a bold fashion statement on just about any wrist. My Aunt Jo, one of the queens of the bold fashion statement sent me one such cuff a few years ago for my 40th birthday. I removed it from its packaging, cuffed it around my wrist and kept it on that night for my birthday party.

I received a few sideways looks that evening and since then when people take a good look at the cuff. I think I know why. The cuff is made up of black and pink velvet with intricate beading detail throughout. It looks like a piece of art and it should considering it was made by an artist from Savannah. There is however, one big clear bead in the middle of the bracelet that contains a painting of a sad clown’s face. I repeat – a sad clown’s face. My daughter thinks it’s scary and my husband thinks it’s just weird. I think it’s really interesting. Actually, I think it’s really pretty.

I have an ongoing conversation with myself, with my friends and also with my husband about what is pretty, about who is pretty.

“Do you think she’s pretty?” I’ll ask my husband about a woman we see on the street, a woman whose picture I show him in a magazine, a woman I know. His answer isn’t always what I’d expect and also not always the same as mine would be. I smile a little because I think about guy pretty vs. girl pretty. You know when a guy thinks some girl is really gorgeous but you can’t agree because you think (or maybe know for sure) that she’s not that nice or fun or smart or interesting. I’ve been there. Can’t really get out of there most times.

I think that all my friends are pretty. Actually I think they are beautiful.  When I look at a true friend, I see her warmth, her sense of humor, her charm, her selflessness, her intelligence and her thoughtfulness. I’m not completely reflective and deep though. I also see her shiny hair, her smooth complexion and her cute new sweater. The point being, that all of her physical attributes looks better, look more interesting, look more beautiful on her because of the person I know her to be. And even on those days when she may not see it, I do.

It’s really quite simple and I understand this first hand. When I’m feeling happy, hopeful, and strong, I feel pretty. When I’m sad, upset or dealing with something I don’t want to be dealing with I’m not feeling too cute. And I also know that sometimes I’m really not looking that cute – like when my hair is pulled up in a messy bun on the top of my head, I am full out schluffing in my flannel PJ pants, a hot pink fleece and a mismatched indoor scarf. It’s at that moment though when my husband will turn say to me “you look so cute.”

I guess he sees something different – something I can’t see.

Just like I see something so different in the scary sad clown bracelet. When I look at it – really look at it, I see my Aunt Jo smiling at me and no she does not look like a sad scary clown. In my mind’s eye, she is about 45 years old, with her light brown hair pulled back in some kind of funky hair accessory like the barrette with the enamel kissing fish or the hairband with fabric grapes sewn on it. (See Aunt Jo and bold fashion statement above.) I know that now she actually looks more like I remember my grandmother with her silver hair and lines on her face – still pretty but different.

I hope I continue to see beauty in different ways  and in different people especially when they need me to see it the most. And the next time you see me wearing the sad scary clown face cuff bracelet, take a good look, a really good look. You may be surprised at what you see.