Pansy doesn’t like the word pretty, because growing up she heard it all the time and now she still hears it too often. She is a young woman, fully developed, grown, and yet still they call her pretty if they complement her at all. It is never beautiful, stunning or anything like that. Pretty sounds like a lower level, a compromise so that they are still saying something nice without saying what they really mean. Plain. Boring. Nothing special really. It is not like she is deaf to the things people say behind her back, the nicknames they give her, but she comforts herself by remembering that she is a pure-blood and they are scum whose opinions don’t matter.
It only starts to impact her self-esteem when Draco loses interest in her. She stops being his girl and starts being the girl he goes to when he’s stressed and needs to fuck it out of his system. Her future as Mrs Draco Malfoy starts to slip through her fingers during her sixth year and she doesn’t know how to keep a hold of it. Everything Draco has been tasked with fascinates and terrifies her at the same time because she just can’t deal with it. Life is supposed to simple for her. Find a husband, get married, be a good pure-blood wife, and then provide an heir. If she is blessed she will have a son and if not Draco’s family connections would secure their daughter a good match. No child of Draco’s will be pretty. Draco’s children will be beautiful, stunning, and handsome, and Pansy had always made it clear that when she is married she will do as her husband wishes of her and not cause trouble, or bring shame upon the family. She is not a Daphne Greengrass who might get ideas about her own intelligence deserving a career or anything like that. She knows her place.
Pretty girls don’t get the attention of rich pure-blood heirs and keep it though. They don’t stand out as future trophy wives that will look good in the pictures of the social columns. Pretty girls lie on their backs and get the honest smiles and the fragile moments at Hogwarts before being replaced in the real world with someone that only ever sees the mask society forces their husband to wear, the mask that stops being a defence and just becomes them. Pretty girls only get the handsome boys before the world crushes them into bitter men leaving lonely women behind.