Why Society’s Ideal of Beautiful Skin is Harmful

Today’s guest post deals with body image in terms of skin & the idea that skin should be clear & perfect in order to be beautiful. This is something I think many of us can relate to. The writer has chosen to remain anonymous, & I appreciate them finding the strength to share their story. I know how hard it can be to even write your story down, so thank you.

I was a lucky teenager. I went into junior high with no acne issues. Went on to High school and got birth control and once again, no acne for me. Sure, one would pop up now and again but they were very few and far between. My skin was pretty flawless from what I recall. Again the word lucky comes to mind. I remember a family member commenting on it saying “Oh don’t worry. It’ll come and bite you in the ass later on”. Gee golly. How fun.

Fast forward 6 years and it’s the year of my wedding. I have always had issues about not wanting to have sex with my partner. Not that I don’t love him, it’s just that sometimes straight up – sex is painful. I’ve now been to the doctor and don’t worry nothing is wrong– it just happens is that I’m literally “as toight as a tiger”. Let’s bottle that for another day though since that’s a whole new issue in which this blog post isn’t about! Either way – I had been chatting with a couple of girlfriends and they said that they had had the same experience after being on the same birth control for a long period of time. So I took it into my own hands and stopped taking birth control for 6 months thinking maybe it would re-boot my body into having those primal urges again. Oh boy was I wrong. Not only did those primal urges not come whatsoever, I literally became the worst PMS in the world and my face finally blossomed to put it nicely.

In a matter of 5 months my face went from clean and clear to a hot mess of red, raised, puss filled and painful pimples. My chin broke out, my cheeks full of big angry spots and my forehead went a-wol. Pair that with my ever wandering and picking fingers it only got worse and worse. I feel like I tried everything. I bought every facewash I could find under the sun, acne treatments, creams and moisturizers. I went from not washing my face at all to religiously scrubbing it twice a day. My fiancé bought me a Clarisonic and I relished it as much as the ring hehad put on my finger. The week of my wedding my face went nuclear due to stress and I ended up getting married with looked like herpes on my upper lip because I had of course picked the massive pimple that was there.

There’s nothing I could have done. Simply my hormones took over. I started piling on more makeup trying to hide the fact that my skin was so bad. I couldn’t even leave the house without putting on acne treated concealer and a cake of foundation. It was a never ending cycle. No matter how many times my hubby told me that he loved me for me and thought I was more beautiful without make up I found it so hard not to run to the bathroom and slap on the makeup. Finally a year later he said enough was enough. He encouraged me to go back to the doctor to pick up a prescription and took me on a trip to the west coast in which I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup for the whole 10 days. I hated it, but in the end I am so thankful he pushed me to do it. It let my skin breath and the pills started to kick in. There’s something so crazy about not having mirrors or people around that just make you chill. Like… a forced chill out session. I was self-conscious for the first couple days. What if someone came down the beach and saw my hideous face? What would my 8 other friends think throughout our trip? Would I not be pretty to them anymore? Day 5 was when it actually hit home. My face was loving the sunshine and it was already less painful. My friends hadn’t mentioned my skin and they were already complimenting me on the fact I was happier. It was like the sun breaking out from behind stormy clouds and it all started from there.

It’s now been 2 years since my face broke out. I still wash it every morning and night but not like I’m going into battle. I have the monthly breakout, but the best thing that’s happened from this ordeal is the fact that I’m not scared to go outside without makeup on anymore. It’s ok if people see my natural skin. Do I sometimes have bags under my eyes? Yes, but if someone is going to judge me for my unflawless skin they can literally shove it. I don’t need to impress some judge-y asshole. The only person I need to impress is myself. Bare skin and all.


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