How many of you have heard these expressions tossed casually into a conversation and have later wondered what they truly mean and how they apply to you? My great grandmother was particularly fond of peppering her speech with these old saws, and while they have a certain rustic charm, I find them a bit dismissive and confusing. Which brings me to an expression one hears frequently…pug ugly. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I, for one, am offended.
Pugs are bred for our singular appearance: a flat face, bulbous eyes, and short curled-up pig’s tail. We did not request these features, which frankly offer endless health issues, but rather you humans decided to breed these into our DNA because you find them so appealing. Why then, should we become the butt of “pug ugly” or “pugly?” It makes no sense to me.
You might say these are only words but to a sensitive pug or human, words are invested with great power…power to heal or to hurt. I contend that what is beautiful to one is not necessarily to another, but that using the object in question as the derisive adjective is cruel.
The expression, “pretty is as pretty does,” offers the less attractive individual or pug hope, in that physical beauty doesn’t necessarily equal beauty of the soul. My great grandmother used it as a verbal punishment and admonishment to her children when their behavior tested her patience. I believe she wished to instill humility in her brood but she probably wasn’t very successful. I’ve used similar techniques with Lizzie, who, quite frankly, tests and tries my patience daily. I love to remind her that her “grill” resembles nothing more than a random toss of a few Chicklets and her body would appeal only to a sausage maker. I’ve suggested that now would be a good time to consider developing a personality, instead of believing she has the kind of looks for which males of all species hunger. Lizzie is a delusional fool most of the time and it is my responsibility to remind her of her limitations. I digress.
Some of us are truly blessed to possess both beauty of body and soul, and for that I am grateful. I do caution you, however, to think before you thoughtlessly refer to a pug or person as pug ugly. There are better words.