I almost let it consume my life. Everyday, it was a struggle to drag myself out of my bed and into the bathroom, dreading what I would have to confront there: the mirror. I couldn’t stand to look at myself–the red, swollen spots and dark patches seemed to overwhelm the rest of my facial features. I let those blemishes define me. I sulked and withdrew into myself, hoping that it would make me less visible so people wouldn’t see face. But worst of all, I allowed myself to succumb to the thing I promised myself I would never be defeated by–society.
Every single day, women are constantly being told what “beautiful” is. They are consistently under pressure, from both men and women, to reach a certain standard of beauty. Models with flawless skin grace magazine covers that appear on stands in grocery stores, nail salons, the library, etc. And it was awareness of this that kept me sane. Of course, it was hard to let go of all of my bitterness and anger towards some higher being for what I believed they had done to my face. But the absolute nonsense of my hate, rage, and tears over something that happened to everyone during puberty finally caught up to me. Those models went through this phase to. There’s nothing truthful on that magazine cover at all. I live the truth, my skin is going to be whatever it’s going to be, and when you can’t change something there’s no point in wasting your time being angry over it. As long as I acknowledge that fact, I have control over my body and my emotions.
Even now, I don’t think I’ve truly broken free from the pressures of society when it comes to my appearance. I’m not sure if I ever will be able to escape. But my awareness made me less concerned over my physical appearance and more concerned about the “why”. Why did I ever feel it was necessary for me to feel ashamed of myself… how could I betray myself like that? People need to always be faithful to themselves. Always be true to who you think you are, not what other people tell you you should be. The rest of the world isn’t out there to have your back. And after all, beauty is only skin deep.