Why are some of us not comfortable living our lives bare faced? What really is stopping us from embracing our imperfections and can a few pimples affect our feeling of self worth and confidence with time? I, a strong believer of ‘change your look, change your life’ have taken a step to own my imperfect skin and share my experience as I go.
Recently I have been experiencing some hormonal changes, and it’s been really affecting my relationship with my skin in a rather negative way. As a teen, I never experienced major changes so I was never used to the fact I would have to deal with acne in the future. Besides the history of my skin and what are the reasons for the current situation, I would like to share my experience of stopping wearing foundation for a longer period of time.
I figured that there was absolutely no point for me to wear make-up as the texture of my skin only seemed to look worse once it was applied. There was a dilemma, should I keep my security blanket on and attempt covering my face up (only to end up in further frustration) or do the right thing of cutting it out of my life for a while. I decided to do the latter.
Here comes the issue of the society we live in. Why do you think so many girls are afraid and anxious to show their ‘bare’ face in public? A major factor in that is the narrow perception of beauty we are exposed to, mostly shaped by our closest environment. The society told and showed us that we are all expected to be and look perfect – otherwise, you might indeed seem a little less ‘deserving’ (of God knows what, a like on Instagram?!). We see celebrities (some people considering them as actual #goals (!) ) and compare our behind the scenes to their highlight reel. Often without realizing that without treatments and procedures which are totally unnatural, these people we so ‘admire’ or ‘look up to’ don’t look like that in real life. Yet all they constantly get is praise for a man made image. Personally, I find that very frustrating and I’m sure they feel the same.
I want to apologize to all the women I have called beautiful before I’ve called them intelligent or brave. I am sorry I made it sound as though something as simple as what you’re born with is all you have to be proud of when you have broken mountains with your wit. From now on I will say things like ‘you are resilient’, or ‘you are extraordinary’ not because I don’t think you’re beautiful but because I need you to know you are more than that ~ Rupi Kaur
How it felt
I decided that although my skin is flawed, this experience will allow me to ‘prove’ to myself and others around me that we can be confident without the supplement of make-up. I always stood by the belief that make-up should be a supplement, and not a requirement. So, I decided to own it.
And so I did. And honestly, the first day really was the hardest. Although I was in my own skin I didn’t feel completely me, as if I have just rolled out of bed. I am not going to lie, I believe the way we look can have an affect on how we feel, and to accept the fact I couldn’t get my skin to behave and look better made me feel extremely powerless. Please don’t get me wrong when I say foundation has been my security blanket – only a few months ago I would not have a slight problem with showing my bare face publicly, however as we all realise, life throws us into phases!
For a second, I tricked my mind into thinking everyone was looking at me, and I have prematurely planted a seed in my head. The thing is, we don’t know what people around us are thinking, and that should be the beauty of it. We keep demonizing one another and assuming they are thinking the worst, which isn’t necessarily true (and many times, it isn’t).
Because, at the end of the day, our features don’t define who we are. Yes, they might change our image in the eyes of others, but acne has nothing to do with how people perceive you. People won’t love or hate you for it – they will love you for your personality, your qualities and beliefs.
As the days went by, I still wasn’t 100% happy with my ‘social experiment’. I didn’t feel 100% comfortable as I didn’t feel I was putting in the effort to look the best I could, and it looked like I haven’t even tried – subconsciously I still cared what people thought! Day by day however I knew that rocking up with a bare face won’t phase anyone and by thinking such a small change in my life could make people want to take their time of the day to comment or even think of my appearance negatively, has made me feel very self-centered. We have to realise we are not the centre of the universe guys (I know, it’s very hard to take! 😉 ).
What have I learnt?
I owned my skin. I owned the ‘new’ version of myself. I trusted that this is just the phase, and as with everything this too shall pass. And so far it hasn’t, but it is teaching me a lot. It is teaching me to love myself no matter of the situation, it is teaching me courage and a special kind of confidence. If everything you currently have whether it be a make up kit, wardrobe or other tangible aspects which boost your confidence, were taken away from you, ask yourself this question: Would you still love yourself unconditionally? Or is your level of self-worth determined by possessions? The most important thing is not to try to hide yourself when things get a little out of place and you’re out of our comfort zone. The more attention we bring to what bothers us, the more it does, at the end. Have you ever heard of a famous confidence trick – fake it till you make it?
I learnt that in order to deal with something at its core, we have to pin down the reason for how we feel and dig out the skeletons out of the wardrobe. When we do feel insecure, we fundamentally exhibit fear. I have noted a few thoughts you might experience when you feel insecure along with rationalised responses to these rather irrational, negative thoughts you might find useful.
Impulsive thought: Everyone will think I’m disgusting and will stop wanting to be around me.
Reality: People will acknowledge you are experiencing acne and won’t think twice about it.
Impulsive thought: I won’t be considered as attractive.
Reality: You’re attractive when you’re confident – it’s the confidence that intrigues the heart. Have you got the confidence? If not, what is preventing you from loving yourself fully?
Impulsive thought: I will get bullied for the way I look so I will demonise everyone around me ‘just in case’ they try to hurt me using my insecurity.
Reality: Try and trust in peoples goodness. Trust they won’t be insensitive and if they are – realise that if they are happy to put someone down instead of lighting them up, they really aren’t so confident themselves. You don’t need their validation. You only need your own.
And so, although it was something I was extremely uncomfortable about, I’m happy I challenged (and keep challenging) myself. I recommend you go and do something you are afraid to do RIGHT NOW, and see the great impact and how many realisations you will experience on this journey to complete self love and happiness.
And to finish off, no matter how you feel, please always try to look at the positives. No matter how bad the situation and how scared you are of something, be grateful for all the amazing things you have in life and aim for fulfillment with daily gratitude. ♥
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