This is the second post in my made up My Take On series and I knew right away that I wanted to dedicate a whole post to how my skin has changed over the years since I started getting acne along with the bullying I went through because of it. Was that a run on sentence? All of the photos in this post have not been retouched at all. Please click the photos to enlarge them if you feel the need to. I try to be as candid as possible for these types of posts because they are pretty meaningless if I'm not being honest. The point is to encourage others to come out of their shell to tell their story. So here goes nothing!
My skin was smooth and clear as a child but around 7th grade my hormones kicked into overdrive and pimples appeared all over my forehead. My acne pretty much stayed on my forehead and the rest of my face was pretty clear. It was incredibly difficult to find photos of myself during my early to mid teenage years because I disliked taking photos. I hated how my skin looked because I was bullied constantly. Almost everyday someone would make a remark like "Have you tried Proactiv?" or "Do you know you have a pimple there?". It was frustrating to be faced with endless criticism yet not know what to do for my skin.
I was not interested in skincare or makeup at all for most of my teenage years (but that's another story for another post!). My Mom bought me some face wash and some salicylic acid cream but I rarely used the cream due to laziness. My situation and skin just seemed hopeless.
For more than half of high school I had the same notion that my skin was just bad and there was no hope for me. Some people told me the acne would naturally go away and I hoped they would be right (they were wrong). During high school my acne started migrating downward and I pretty much had breakouts on any given section of my face.
Certain people still made fun of me but the bullying lessened. If you read my other post on weight and body image, then you'll know that I started defending myself from bullies. I think defending myself played a big part in getting people to stop making fun of me and being outright rude. People would literally ask other people to come over and look at my skin to tell me how bad it was. That was not helpful at all and incredibly humiliating. I was constantly embarrassed about my skin. It was during my high school years when I finally had enough and I would not tolerate the mean remarks any longer. When someone made fun of me, I would say something along the lines of "Why do you have to say that?" or "I know I have bad skin. Can you stop pointing it out?". It was actually really easy to defend myself like that because the person would usually get the hint and realize they were being rude. I felt liberated when I could speak up for myself.
|Photo on the right is from 2011. I made a mistake and failed to save the .psd and was lazy to start over. You get the idea.|
I still struggle with acne, discoloration, and the like. It still bothers me when I have a huge pimple on the eve of a big day. I wear makeup to conceal my acne scars. BUT I realize my skin is not as bad as I used to perceive it. Looking back at my old photos, my acne really wasn't that horrible. I can't believe that I let people's words cause myself to suffer from very low self esteem for years.
The funny thing is that I have a few friends who still tell me when I have a pimple or some acne. They are some of my closest friends but their remarks are still mean and I still take offense. It is still bullying. Partially I am offended by the fact that they ask me if I notice that I have a pimple. It's like I don't have eyes to see for myself. I blog several times a week about beauty related topics. I think I would know if I had a pimple on my face thank you very much. I try to restrain my initial anger and calmly tell them that I am aware I have a spot on my face. I always ask them to stop telling me when I have a pimple or a bad skin day. The remarks have decreased over the past few months so I'm glad.
So while I still have acne and will probably continue to have "bad" skin for the rest of my life, I've come to terms with this fact. I realized that the words hurt more than the actual fact of having acne. Therefore, I train myself to not judge people's skin and I don't believe I have ever told someone they had a spot. It just comes across as being incredibly rude whether you are truly trying to help or not. It's only a horrible thing if you believe it is. Having acne is not life threatening at all. It's not the end of the world and you should not feel miserable due to a spot or two or ten.
Check out the video below to hear my chat a bit more about my skin experiences and to see my skin up close! I had to do a close up to really show you guys how my skin looks, pores and all (skip to 14:00 to see the close up portion if you don't want to watch me talking for 16 minutes)!
I want to read all of YOUR skin experiences and how you came to terms with them (if you have). Were you ever bullied because of your skin imperfections and did you ever find the voice to stand up for yourself?