Pretty is such a loaded word when you are a boy. But I'd go back there in a second.
In the '70s, I did get mistaken for a girl, though my mom has always said my friend Charlie was prettier than me. Pat was "cute." It was an era of androgyny without our really knowing it. Center-parted hair and beads around the neck, and no one's face was fully formed. We all had very shiny long brown hair.
I rather lurched into viability.
There weren't graded paths to it.
This is a candid shot of two hungover people in a dive bar in New Haven some time in the eighties.
Folks commented on my looks, my perceived Midwestern skin. (Whatever it is, it ain't from Ohio. I will cop to Kentucky.) I got told to model so many times that it actually became irritating (because I was too short, so couldn't make a dime), I got asked who cut my hair on Wisconsin Avenue, I got voted best looking in an unofficial poll of the class of 1984, I got photographed by a famous photographer on 57th Street (I threw away my copy because I looked too damn pretty), I got talked to at telephone booths, harassed on the subway, I got cruised by JFK Jr. at the Citibank on Christopher Street, I got followed like a girl.
I got interviewed for a documentary on what it was like to be good looking. They asked me if it had presented advantages.
And I said, "Not enough."