Thursday, 13 March 2014

Nefertiti, Noses, and the Definition of Pretty by Bad Girl

Many years ago at the Toronto Press Club, a man called me “Striking.”  (For the record, men have called me a lot of other things over the years.  “Bossy” immediately comes to mind.  But I digress.)

I was flattered, I think.  But I wasn’t exactly sure what ‘striking’ meant.  The language of men has always deluded me.  Let’s face it.  The way men think has always deluded me.

I asked around.

“Maybe it means you walk into a room and men feel struck by your beauty,” said friend Kathy, 

“Maybe it means you have a mean left hook,” said former friend John, who discovered that I did.

Recently, a man pointed me to this list of definitions, which apparently makes it all clear. 

Variations on the word ‘Pretty,’ when used to describe a female:

Beautiful: tall and pretty

Cute:  short and pretty

Striking:  pretty with a big nose

Sexy:  pretty with skimpy clothes

Charming: pretty and thinks you’re attractive

Attractive:  just pretty enough (it doesn’t say for what, but we can guess)

Okay, here’s the thing about noses.  My nose, of the good solid Roman variety, apparently made me a good photo model.  “You’re face has great planes,” said a former professional photographer.  “It doesn’t moosh into one flat surface on glossy paper.”

Damn straight, we wouldn’t want a nose that mooshes.  At the same time, I have to wonder about being defined by my nose.

So I asked my husband what ‘striking’ meant to him.

“It means you’re memorable,” he said wisely.  (Meaning, he was wise to say it.)  “Look at history.  That bust of Nefertiti – she had a big nose.  And everyone thinks she was the babe of her century.”

So that brings up another question:  What exactly do they mean by “babe”?


  1. I see the family resemblance. You and Nef could be cousins.

  2. Kind of you, Alison! The background is Sicilian, and Sicily was a Greek colony, so there could be a tiny bit of blood shared if you go way way back.