I came across this youtube video of Em Ford of My PaleSkin Blog (watch here) this week and while it racks up the views, I just thought I would do a blog post of how I feel about it.
As many of you may know I have an Acne journey. It is a journey that I believe is never truly over and despite the number of cosmetics you use or skincare products you try, there will always be that scarring, the enlarged pores, your uneven skin tone and those pimples that will rear its ugly head especially when you thought it was over. One day, in the near future ( Insha Allah ) I want to talk to you all about my experiences when I was younger especially with my skin and where I am now but at this point I thought it would just talk a little about it.
I feel so strongly about the message that Em is trying to convey because when I was in high school, that was me. Facebook was really the only social media I knew about and well, Mxit and I didn’t upload too many pics of myself so I wasn’t really taunted via social media. But it was an everyday struggle getting up in the morning and dealing with the stares of people around you and the constant questions. I am grateful that my acne was not at an extreme stage but yes, I would get bombarded when I went out. “Why do you have so many pimples?”, “have you tried this skincare product”, “oh my gosh, your face has gotten really bad” and it goes on. I look at myself in the mirror people, I know what my face looks like – you needn’t remind me.
Make-up was reserved for weddings then and to be honest, even if I had it when I was younger I wouldn’t have known the first thing about applying it . So, it usually meant I never wore make up to cover up my pimples and really just had to deal with it, raw. I tried many products and spent most of my allowance to try and see if I could find a magical solution to my problems (there isn’t). I wasn’t in a position to spend thousands on skin products at that time and so I would literally just buy whatever was on a shelf in a Clicks or Pick ‘n Pay. It was a really difficult time in my life and so when Em made this video, I was heartbroken. Those comments were disgusting and to say those things knowing what it would do to someone and their self-esteem is just flippin hateful to say the least.
To be honest, I never considered myself as someone who was bullied in school but when I really thought about it yesterday, I realised that I was. I remember, one day when I was in Grade 10, a boy in my class told me that no one would date me because boys don’t like girls who have dandruff.
(I had dry scalp when I was in high school and he actually picked on me because of that – jerk!)
I had a lot more physical issues, acne was just one of them and I would love to tell you guys about it so let me know if you would be interested to know about it and how I dealt with it.
There are so many of us out there who suffer with not just skin conditions but other issues that may manifest itself physically but it is who we are. We are not less of a human because we do not look like you. We have feelings and we are hurt by the words that you may type without a second thought. It is so easy to be affected by the comments of others when we are younger and yet, they are the cowardly ones – sitting behind their PC or tapping away at their phone breaking down people’s confidence and scarring them emotionally. That isn’t to say it gets easier when you are older, those jibes still have some power even when you have dealt with the bullying for years.
I met my husband when I was that insecure, young girl with bad acne and overgrown sideburns who had no idea how to apply foundation and looked super geeky with my glasses. I was so unhappy with the way that I looked that sometimes I wouldn’t want to go out, wondering what people would think. Why would a guy like him want to be with a girl like me? Someone with such bad skin that you couldn’t even look at her without staring. He loved me back then in all the madness and still does today and he has supported me in every decision I have ever made and has shown me unconditional love through all the years. It doesn’t matter whether I have crazy , mad eyebrows or decide that I am going bare-faced to the mall, to him – it makes no difference. Who I am on the inside is all he needs and believe me to have someone (after your mom) who supports you like that makes you feel like you can do and be anything you want to.
Today, I don’t wear makeup to work and can go weeks without even putting on a swipe of eyeliner. I know I have some marks and pimples reappear when they want to, I have blackheads on my nose and when I wear short sleeves, you can see some pimples on my upper arms. People may think I don’t care about myself because I don’t paint my face everyday but to me it is an act of confidence – a stand I am taking by showing the world I am here and I am happy with who I am. I am proud of what I have achieved and when I choose to wear make-up , I do it because I want to and not to impress anybody. Yeah, I still have some body issues (don’t we all) but I don’t let the negativity get to me anymore, I choose to tune them out and listen to my supporters. The ones who have loved me through it all and continue to do so.
The rest can take a long walk off a short pier.