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Pretty Is As Pretty Does

It’s an old cliché that my mother said to me many a times when I was growing up.  As soon as someone would pay me a compliment and I’d start smelling myself she would hit me with that phrase, “Pretty is as pretty does.”  And I can remember her words sounding like a hand smack and not really understanding why – until she explained to me that the true essence of beauty lies within.  It’s not what people see on the outside but rather the character you possess, the core, the kindness that needs to exist in one’s heart in order for the “pretty” light to shine.  I liken it to being more like Him.


Recently my 7 year old came home from school boasting about how some little boy in her class was so smitten with her because she has brains and she’s pretty.  To which I quickly replied, “pretty is as pretty does baby” and she had that same puzzled look on her face that I did at her age.  So I continued telling her that although beauty and brains are great attributes to have that real beauty goes much deeper than that.  Now I realize that fully grasping this concept is a bit much for a 7 year old, even a (beautiful) brainy one like mine, but I think it’s important to instill this reality into our young ladies.

I’m blessed to have been given 4 beautiful, intelligent children, but it’s always been important to me that they have a kind and humble heart and that they understand the importance of giving of themselves to others.  I’ve been more interested in building their core than their ego.  I do tell them how beautiful they are, but I can honestly say that I’m not simply talking about the vision I’m talking about the whole kit and caboodle.  So as much as I’ve always said I never want to sound like my mother I have to admit, every now and then I hear her lessons come through my voice.  I’m thankful for how she kept me grounded and although my exterior may or may not be attractive to those who see me for the first time, those who KNOW me KNOW I’m beautiful inside and out proving that pretty really is as pretty does.  I only hope my babies grow up understanding that lesson.


Guest Post:  Eleese Bohannon Scott is an Operations Manager for a national non-profit, but her most fulfilling work comes from her career at Scott Household, Inc. where she is CEO, CFO, CMP & HMIC. Duties include but are not limited to the daily oversight and well being for the lives of her four stupendous children as well as the maintenance of the ongoing complicated partnership with Scott Household’s CIO.  Her special interests include creative writing, traveling and spending quality time with friends and family.


Happily married mother of 2 fabulous daughters. CEO & Designer of Shootie Girl™ Custom Rhinestone Apparel. Former government and global software giant manager turned work-from-home mom and National Director of Social Media and Blogging for a national non-profit moms organization.
Shootie Girl

14 Responses

  1. I think its a wonderful lesson. You have explained it right off the bat. Even if you have to reiterate it in the future several times because she won’t have to question what you mean it shouldn’t feel like a slap in the face. Good job mom Eleese.

  2. This is a wonderful post ladies, thank you so much for sharing. I am the mother of an adorable super smart 5yr old boy. Already the little girls are telling me that they are going to marry my son.

    Not too mention every where we go he gets alot of attention from girls of various ages, I try too explain to him its not about his outer appearance but its about the inner beauty, but he’s only 5 so he does really understand

  3. Shannon M Gallagher

    What a wonderful lesson to teach someone. I always tell my daughter she is beautiful because, at her age (14), she thinks she isn’t as pretty as other girls at times. She is stunning and I want her to have confidence in herself. I must remember now that I need to explain more about inner beauty even though I have said that being nicer to people is more important than going with the crowd. I hope she already knows that being a kind and giving person makes you beautiful!

  4. kamilah

    I have boys, But I think it is as important to teach them. As they get older, I hope to model the type of woman that I would want them to be with.

  5. Jessica Ward

    great post – I think society has put too much emphasis on how we look (mostly women) that these young girls think they need to have whitened teeth and perfect hair and super tan to be beautiful when really if we focused more on their characters we would have a much better and “beautiful” world.

  6. Marti Parks

    Reading that brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing it and making my day.

  7. nova

    What a great post! I pity the people that beautiful on the outside only. That “beauty” will fade with age and what will they have left? When I was dating the cutest guys were usually the least thoughtful and most self-centered. I always felt the best husbands were the ones that were not the best looking. I’m sure that also goes for the females. Inner beauty is such an important quality. I only wish more people realized that and developed their inner being more instead of concentrating so much on the outer looks.

  8. This is so true…my daughter understood this at a young age as I always instilled kindness and treating others the way you would want them to treat you. She actually would get upset that people would tell her she was pretty…she would say, I would rather they think I’m nice.

  9. mai

    awww…this is a really sweet post. Something that a lot of girls these days should hear. It would solve a lot of insecurities in people. Great post!

  10. Debbie Petch

    My mom used to say that to me too. I really believe in it!

  11. Kelly A. Tanner

    Your mama was right and it sounds like you are raising your daughter well~!

  12. Amanda Arguello

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing

  13. kimbuckjr

    Thank you so much for publishing this beautiful blog post. I have shared this saying with my daughter and like you…I got the puzzled look, but then explained the meaning.
    Thank you SO MUCH!
    God Bless,

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