How I Learned To Live With My Acne

I will never forget the day in 6th grade when my crush asked me what those bumps on my arms were. I was mortified. It was an innocent question with a one word answer. It was acne. I remember crying about it later in my room, writing about it in my password journal. I promised myself I had to avoid another situation like that. I wouldn't wear short-sleeves, I'd wear makeup to cover it. From then on I was that girl who would restrict herself from things she is supposed to enjoy, things she is not supposed to think about.

I was that girl who would shop for clothes and instead of  thinking “that’s cute I want it,” she would think “will that cover my skin enough?” I was that girl who loved the beach but declined invitations because of the apparel. I was that girl who wore long-sleeves year-round no matter how hot it was. And I was that girl who sat in a school bathroom for two hours because she didn't want to come out in a dress. But I don’t want to be that girl anymore.

After struggling with pretty severe facial and body acne for almost 9 years, I can attest to the negative impact it has on self-esteem. This is why I want to draw attention to the issue surrounding the representation of acne, especially in the media. To the movies and tv shows that associate acne with gross, unattractive and unpopular. To the Twitter posts that compare our makeup-less faces to the likes of monsters. To the lack of positive representations, and normalization of acne in media and body positivity campaigns. This is a significant reason as to why it is so hard for women and men to feel secure in their own skin.

There are already so many insecurities we deal with on a daily basis, we are constantly beating ourselves up about things that are natural. These negative perceptions tell us that these are flaws, things we should change, and things we should get rid of. When instead we should be normalizing them by teaching ourselves that these are things we should love and embrace. 

The moment I stopped demonizing my acne was the moment it stopped controlling me. I spent so much time living my life around my acne instead of living with it. Sure we would all opt for clear skin if we could, and you shouldn't feel discouraged from seeking clear skin. But, if there’s anything i’ve learned from my acne experience it’s that you should never be afraid to own your natural skin.You should never feel ugly, or like you have to hide your acne. And you should never stop doing the things you want to do because of it. So this is for the girls and guys whose acne ever made them feel insecure, unprofessional or unwanted. You wear your skin, your skin does not wear you.

Love the skin you're in, Collegiettes!

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