By Arisha Husain
Image courtesy of Arisha Husain.
When it comes to my appearance, my under eye bags are my number one insecurity. Without the powerful Kat Von D’s tattoo concealer to hide them from plain sight, sadness finds its way into my heart and I feel unconfident and frankly, old. Older than the age of 21 anyways. They are genetic so I can’t get rid of them unless I pay a lot of money for the needle. I’m a college student and I don’t have the cash, so I did something even better. I stopped hiding them from the world, I still hate them (which is okay) but I stopped hiding them. The goal is to slowly start accepting your body image or certain facial features. That being said, I’m displeased with my under eye bags but I love my naturally long eyelashes. My eyelashes are jet black and they’re something I look in the mirror and focus on. They always pop out and make me smile. I believe that having at least one physical trait that you are absolutely in love with is important. Also, it’s fun! In those tiny ways. On the other hand, a little feature, are one’s nails. Mine grow quite fast and are nicely shaped. They make me feel special when truly, they might not be anything special. But isn’t that what it’s all about?
By Chel Howard
Image courtesy of Chel Howard.
Body image is a big deal for girls. Our hair is also a big part of body image. It’s not the first thing you think of when you think body image but it does play a huge part. Growing up, I hated my hair. As a little girl the movie Brave would have been a favorite. My hair made me an easy target for bullying. All of the girls in my class had straight hair, either naturally or by straightening it. This started in late elementary school. My mom didn’t know how to style my hair either except to blow dry it straight. That didn’t last long; a certain amount of independence hits about the time kids go to school. All through high school I lived with a frizzy, bushy ponytail that would give Hermione Granger a run for her money. After freshman year of college I was introduced to www.naturallycurly.com. After learning how to care for my hair and finding out I couldn’t treat it like everyone elses, it became easier to embrace and manage it. Now I love my hair and for me it’s a big part of my personality and self image.
By Emme Raus
Image courtesy of Emme Raus.
I remember thinking at 11 years old that I couldn’t escape it. My brother had it on his back and on his face, my mother had it on her back and my father had the blistering boils on his nose and chin. Sooner or later, I would be stricken with my family’s terrible acne genes. My first zit was in my armpit and I discovered it at a sleepover at my friend’s house. I went home and showed my mom, asking if it was bug bite. She gave me the horrible truth and I spent the rest of middle school being one of the only kids with acne. I got it so early that the other kids in my grade didn’t know what it was at first. No one danced with me at dances. No one kissed me. I remember daydreaming about how nice it would be if someone would just hold my face in their hands and tell me I was beautiful to them. During my freshman year of high school my acne had gotten so bad that it started to hurt. I remember getting strange hot flashes in class, going to the bathroom and seeing my face flushed and sweaty: a fresh breeding ground for black-heads. I got vicious bumps in my nose, in my ears, along my hairline, on the corners of my mouth, in my eyebrows and in the hair on my upper lip; all at once too. Zits would stay rooted in my skin for a month, sometimes longer.
I started going to a dermatologist when I was 14 and tried all the pastes, wipes, creams and pills. Finally I had no other choice but to take Acutane, a five-month drug that completely dries out your skin, making it impossible for pimples to break through. As I was taking this extreme pill, my skin looked like it had been attacked by a cheese grader. Not only did my facial skin peel and fester, by my arms, legs, back and shoulders became dry and itchy too. I remember it was January and a classmate asked me if I had gotten sunburned. I said yes even though it was below 10 degrees outside and snowbanks were shoved against the streets by a snowplow. I endured this physical mummification along with mood side affects that made me more irritable than usual. My poor parents dealt with this for the whole spring and summer.
Finally, I got off Acutane and for the first time my skin was clear and radiant. No longer was my face hot and glowing like the Ring of Fire, nor was it tattered and torn like singed paper. I started my sophomore year of high school in the fall a new woman and students noticed and asked me what my secret was for getting such perfect skin. By this time my 15-16 year old companions had started to get a nice crop of acne under their bangs or in their patchy facial hair. I told them I went on a serious skincare drug and some responded with snide comments but I didn’t care. Of course, my perfect skin didn’t last forever, and now I only get a few zits each month but it doesn’t bother me anymore. Now that I’m in college, I waste all my time worrying about the curves and extra weight I gained after high school. No one is perfect.
What are some physical features you’re proud of? Let us know in the comment section below.