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Ladies: You are Beautiful When you are "Ugly"

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My wife pointed out the other day that I often tell her she is beautiful right when she wakes up, or is about to go to sleep, or is wearing her grungy clothes and sweating while she works (at the million things she does to keep our home functioning in spite of my interference). She asked point-blank if I was trying to talk myself out of being horrified.

I WAS horrified. Not at her appearance, but that she would think that.

Ladies, I'll tell you a secret: the men who love you - who TRULY love you - think you are gorgeous when you dress up. When you put on makeup and do your hair and wear your favorite outfit. It shows us you love us, and that you matter to us, and that you still care about being beautiful for us, no matter how long (or short) a time you have stood beside us.

But our favorite times - the times we think you are at your most beautiful - are when you are at your "worst." When YOU think you are ugly because you are without all those adornments. But you aren't. You are radiant.

Those are the times when we look on the most real, and very best, "you." The times we are amazed that we get to have a slumber party every night with our best friend. When we wake up and the first thing we see is the best thing we've ever had.

The days where we feel the utter comfort of knowing our lives matter so much to you that you are willing to do what is uncomfortable - be it working outside the home, caring for screaming kids, doing the dishes, gardening, or any of the tough jobs you undertake every day - to see to our well-being, and be a partner not just in the house, the kids, the checkbook, but in our LIVES.

The most beautiful my wife appears is after a new child comes. Those who have been through that know it ain't no beauty spa. She is sweaty, dirty, bloody. And oh-so-lovely.

One of the births ended in tragedy, and that moment - the moment she smiled through tears, and was stronger than anyone I've ever seen - stands out in my mind as the pinnacle of her beauty, inside and out.

Ladies, if your man compliments you when you're "ugly," he's not trying to talk himself into base appreciation. He's recognizing that he adores the totality of you, and that he is privileged to see these, your best moments.

- For Laura.


Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally bestselling novelist and screenwriter. You can find him on Facebook at, on Twitter @mbcollings, or you can sign up for his mailing list here.