You Don’t Have To Be Pretty – On YA Fiction And Beauty As A Priority
I’m not going to class tonight because stupid injured leg. Instead, I’m indulging in a long-time habit known as Reading The Internet (guys, it is deeply comforting to know that even though I read really fast, the Internet grows even faster, so there will always be stuff to read).
Anyway, one of the articles I’m reading right now is this one, about why it’s so important that the protagonist in Divergent isn’t pretty. I think it’s dead on, and if you have a few minutes, you should check it out. This may actually be my first reblog of in the history of ever, but it’s that important, maybe especially for those of us who are writers.
“I’m not trying to be self-deprecating,” I say, “I just don’t get it. I’m younger. I’m not pretty. I –”
He laughs, a deep laugh that sounds like it came from deep inside him, and touches his lips to my temple.
“Don’t pretend,” I say breathily. “You know I’m not. I’m not ugly, but I am certainly not pretty.”
“Fine. You’re not pretty. So?” He kisses my cheek. “I like how you look. You’re deadly smart. You’re brave. And even though you found out about Marcus …” His voice softens. “You aren’t giving me that look. Like I’m a kicked puppy or something.”
“Well,” I say. “You’re not.”
– Veronica Roth, Divergent
This handful of sentences, spoken by Divergent‘s protagonists Tris and Four, might be some of the most revolutionary words ever written in a young adult novel. In fact, they’re pretty incredible no matter what the genre…
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