As a teen – I had perfect skin. I could go to bed at night without really taking off my make-up and I’d still wake up with flawless skin. I didn’t have to stress about the products I used or what I ate, my face remained spot-free. Then I hit my 20s and my skin was like “TAKE THIS, SUCKER” and decided to break out on a constant basis. I use pro-products, see a dermatologist and drink loads of water – mostly to no avail. It’s left me feeling insecure, stressed and freaked out. But, as The BF pointed out to me the other day, why am I pressurising myself for this ideal of skin? It’s not actually all that common to have ‘perfect’, spot-free, flawless skin.
I think a lot of it is what we see, of course, in celeb culture. What we see of celebs in the press – websites, movies, magazines – is all so highly…produced. I know it’s been said a million times, but it’s all Photoshop, make-up and really good lighting. The hard thing is, even though we know it’s not real, repeatedly seeing these perfected images of celebs begins to make us think this is a real, achievable image of beauty. Of course, there are people who have great skin and hardly suffer a breakout, but many, many people do have issues with their skin throughout their life. Even celebs (no matter how perfect they look on screen).
Perhaps it’s just a delusion I hold, but there seems to be a judgement attached to the appearance of your skin, much like there is to weight (which I spoke about in Thinspiration). Having bad skin must mean something about you personally: you don’t clean your skin properly, you only eat junk, you’re not pretty if you’re spotty, if you’re an adult you should have perfect skin etc. Which is all pretty ridiculous, especially the last two. Where do these ideas come from? When did having spots become something…gross and embarrassing? It’s normal. It’s what skin does from time to time.
My journey? To accept my skin is as it is. I’m taking hormones to try normalise it and it’s by no means an instant fix. It’s going to take time and patience – something I’m not good at. But more than that? Being gentle, kind and caring with myself. And hopefully, one day, accepting of me as me.