This is a little tough for me to write, but since I've never seen anything in print about it I figured it might be something other people scanned pages for, even if they might not admit it. It's nothing fancy, but here goes.
For most of my life I absolutely believed that if I had better skin, the whole world would be a wonderful place to be. Everything would be easier; this is what I figured at 16, then 19, then 22. I would automatically become more desirable and charming. I could be cute; I could even try being "girlish" and sweet just for the heck of it. I could look straight into the camera. I could cut my hair short; I could wear a ponytail in public. I could use cheap makeup without worrying that I'd break out or look lurid and tough. I could lighten up. I could be less angry, less defensive, less miserable.
I figured I'd be less ashamed of facing the day without a scarred face. And I was ashamed -- constantly and profoundly ashamed. As a teenager, I totally blamed myself for the poor condition of my skin and would make serious, often written, vows to give up soda, pizza and chocolate -- too bad, since now most dermatologists agree that diet doesn't have much to do with acne. Almost every diary from those years begins with a New Year's resolution to forgo oily foods, as if that was going to begin my Cinderella-like transformation into a girl who could appear on the pages of Seventeen or Mademoiselle.
I especially identified with Cinderella out of all the fairy-tale possibilities because it seemed to me that bad skin was something poor kids seemed to have; the wealthier ones had parents who would take them to doctors, or even specialists, or for facials, or buy them the right kinds of magical products that would minimize the problem. Poor kids were left to comb our hair over our foreheads and put our hands up to cover our faces as often as possible. Yes, of course, it was the worst possible thing to do, but try to tell that to someone who is interested only in hiding.
You've never seen a girl with rough skin in a movie; you've never seen any woman whose flawless, silken face is anything but perfect. It just doesn't happen. Guys who have rough faces are usually cast as the tough characters, mobsters or evildoers, but at least they get roles and they are visible in some way.
- Find a Therapist
- Topic Streams
- Get Help
RelationshipsLow Sexual Desire
Recently Diagnosed?Diagnosis Dictionary
- Psych Basics