i have always struggled with my appearance over the years. from weight issues to horrid acne. i suppose the world we live in doesn’t teach a girl to love herself very much, does it? even when big brands come up with ads that feature a diversity of women telling you that any size/skin colour is beautiful, it’s still just marketing. ads to sell a product. their product. disguised better, to reach out to the women who don’t fall into the category of “perfect”, but all it does is further drill into a girl’s head that they need to be anything else but their natural, raw self to be happy.
i think it’s really toxic, thinking or worrying so much about how one looks. i battled acne for over a decade. i saw a couple of doctors earlier on who gave me all kinds of soaps to try. then i tried all kinds of other products and creams. but no matter how expensive or branded the option was, my skin didn’t get any better. i thought it’d never go away, so a year and a half ago i finally gave up and stopped using products altogether.
i quit make up and got rid of all the creams, washes, toners and moisturizers. it was about the same time i let my hair dread so that meant no shampoo and conditioner as well. all i do now is rinse my face with water, even when it’s oily. i haven’t used soap or facial wash in over a year. and for the first time in my life, my skin stopped causing me grief.
how ridiculous to find out after a whole decade that make up and “miracle pimple creams” were really doing the damage to begin with. it’s not like i didn’t know make up was bad. but washing never helped either. all i needed to do was just leave it alone, treat my skin as though it didn’t exist. why didn’t anyone tell me that?
i had to dig through folders of photos to find a non-edited photo of myself. didn’t realise how many photos i’d have to go through. i really never did want to keep non-edited photos around because i refused to share them. i was truly ashamed for so long.
i finally found a photo though, from 2009 if my memory’s right. and here it is next to a photo from today with no make up or editing whatsoever. just me and my natural bushy eyebrows (which i have stopped plucking) in all it’s glory.
as you can imagine, it has been a really long and painful journey! i am really glad i took the plunge into living on the extreme end of natural and healed myself in the process. i love that i’ve grown into feeling the way i do about my outside now. not worried. beautiful. free.
the only thing i have a real difficulty going natural about is my armpit hair. maybe i can allow myself this one exception and not ever take that step as i don’t see how i’d ever enjoy the result of that. it has been getting progressively longer between shaves though, so i guess i’ll never know.
no one should ever feel any less than perfect. maybe instead of trying to achieve “prettier”, we all take a step back and stop trying – and just be beautiful the way we already are :)