The Struggles of Having Terrible Skin

Especially in an Age of Edited Perfection

I know, I know. Having terrible skin should be the least of my worries. I mean, there are people STARVING around the world. I know, trust me. I've thought about this. I've wondered why I worry so much about shitty skin when there are people that don't even have access to basic human needs of survival. Or that there are people born into this life with a fatal illness. I've thought about all of this, and I know that in the grand-scheme of things, something so superficial really is not that bad. 

BUT...

The fact of the matter is, if you also struggle with less-than-perfect skin, or hell, even getting that one pimple a month, you know what's up. You know that it can take your self-esteem to such lows you won't even want to leave your bedroom in fear that your family is going to stare at your flaws while talking to you.

You've cancelled plans because you know people will notice these imperfections. Your stomach drops every time your friends or family want to take pictures with you, because you know you're going to hate the way that you look in them. Family vacations and nights out with friends have started to turn into boxing matches with your anxiety. And guess what? For me, the anxiety almost always wins with a solid K.O.

The sad thing is, I've made it worse for myself with CSP. If you don't know what CSP is, do a quick google search or check out my last written work. It's a form of OCD, and it is so hard to overcome. And along with the CSP, BDD has also formed into a restless voice inside of my head. I've learned that no matter how much I want to, I can't escape my own skin.

I've tried that false confidence thing, the "fake-it-til-ya-make-it" mantras. I've jumped on the self-love train, and trying to accept who I am, scars and all, but I fell off that ride the second I tried to leave my home sans makeup. But I can't seem to escape the feeling I get when I see my own reflection. The unworthiness, frustration, and sadness that I have convinced myself that no one will ever be able to stand to look at me, barefaced, as I can barely stand to look at myself.

I'll spend hours comparing myself to the beautiful woman I see on social media. Just staring at picture after picture of flawless, pore-less skin. I'll edit my photos or have the perfectly placed hand/prop to hide any imperfections from the outside world. This has created a whole new slew of issues: now I'm afraid to meet anyone IRL because they'll realize that the pictures are all FAKE. That the person on their phone screen is not the same person standing in front of them, unable to look them in the eye, for fear of seeing the disgust shining back. You see, logically, I know that everyone my age edits their photos. Unfortunately, in the mind of someone struggling with body image issues, logical thoughts are fleeting and hard to grasp. Illogical thoughts are easier to digest, the thought that though everyone edits their photos, IRL everyone else is just as great as they are on social media. Everyone else but me.

This isn't written to make anyone sad. It isn't written as a pity-party. I've wanted to write about body-image issues and CSP struggles for a long time because if there's anything that I've learned, it's that it's so nice not to feel so alone when struggling with something. So, if you're also trying to cope, or can relate to anything in this post, know that you are most definitely not alone, and that I know exactly where you're coming from and what you're feeling. You're not crazy, I promise you. And you are so, so worthy of all of the love that this world has to offer you. 

Also, if anyone knows that artist of the cover picture, please let me know. I love the pic a lot, but couldn't find the original artist. Would love to give props to them. They deserve it. 

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The Struggles of Having Terrible Skin
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