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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

My skin is far from perfect. 

It has bumps, scars and pimples. Unwanted hair growing above my lips. Patches of dry skin that only visit during the winter. My cheeks get pinker than tulips in the spring. My forehead burns at the beach despite how many times my Mom reminds me to reapply. I get puffy eyes on early Monday mornings. Pimples on my chin force themselves to peek through no matter how many layers of concealer I try to disguise them with. 

I come from a long line of acne-prone skin. My parents and brothers try to comfort me by saying, “we went through it too, you’ll clear up soon.” I’ve been through bottles and bottles of drug store face washes, as well as the more expensive cleansers the Sephora worker swears “will work wonders.”

I went on Accutane during my senior year of high school because I thought my skin got so bad. Granted, after nine dry months, my skin cleared up and I will never doubt the power of Aquaphor again. My friends would still ask why my face wasn’t completely spotless. I would crinkle up inside and respond, “it’s just flaring up, it will get better soon.”

It was really hard to be confident when those around me would say my worst insecurities out loud and have no idea what it would do to me. 

My best friend at the time had beautiful skin. You could put a magnifying glass over her forehead and not spot a single blackhead. She got freckles during the summer. Her makeup would glow. She used serums on her face before Hyram told us all to. And never once did my friend even think about putting a magnifying glass over my science experiment of a face. 

“To me, you are beautiful,” she would tell me as I would cry in the mirror to her before going out on a Friday night.

“When I see you, I see your cheeky smile, I listen to your bubbly laugh, I wait for the perfect moment when your blue eyes glisten in the sunlight. That’s who I see.” 

She taught me how the glow of your skin doesn’t always come from the prescription bottle your dermatologist gave you. The glow comes from embracing your imperfections and your insecurities. 

It’s not fair to yourself to stand in front of the bathroom mirror and point out everything you don’t like about yourself. It’s not fair to wish your nose was smaller or your lips were plumper. It’s not fair to wish away your acne spots by carving into them and excavating any sign it was there. It’s not fair to determine if you are beautiful or not based on judgments from others. 

Instead, take that time to compliment your cute little nose because only you have one like it. Put some Aquaphor on your lips. Care for your spots. Be kind to yourself. 

If I could talk to my friend today, I would thank her a million times for clearing my skin. She cleared all my imperfections by giving me the confidence I desperately prayed for in high school. She taught me about the glow.

To this day, I still have all the same bumps, scars and pimples as before. The same unwanted hair above my lip, rosy cheeks, puffy eyes. No new cream or underground TikTok treatment. 

Just me. 

Being confident in your own skin is easier said than done. But setting unattainable expectations for yourself like spotless, clear skin is unfair. It’s cruel. It’s unrealistic. It’s not slay. 

Embrace the bumps. Put a cute star patch over your next zit. Remind yourself that there is no perfect. 

There is loving you. 

When you look in the mirror next, remind yourself how beautiful you truly are. 


Kate Haas

Virginia Tech '23

Kate is a junior studying Multimedia Journalism at Virginia Tech. She is a curly-haired dreamer wanting to empower women with her writing. She is a proud member of Her Campus VT and a happy hokie!