insecure mess

insecure messIt’s been a long time since I’ve done a beauty post. Mostly because who wants to write a post focused on beauty when you’re trying to avoid having people look at you in the first place?

I’ve been having some serious skin issues lately. I have rosacea, which is a chronic skin condition that basically makes you look like you have rosy cheeks all the time. Could be worse, right? Well, it can also progress so that the redness becomes darker and more mask-like. You can end up with bumps or pimples resembling adult acne and, when it’s really out of control, there is sometimes thickening of the skin, usually around your nose (think WC Fields). The latter stuff is decidedly not cute.

Lately my face has gone from the first rosy phase to the mask-like look with a side of bumps and pimples. To add insult to injury, your face can also get really dry with rosacea. So on top of the red mask and adult acne look I was rocking, I also had rough, flaking skin. A straight up skin mutiny.

Now, I totally realize these are #firstworldproblems. There are far worse things for a person to have to deal with and I feel a little silly even discussing it. But, you know what? It made me incredibly self conscious and zapped any bit of self confidence I had.

Strangers have asked me what’s wrong with my face (note to the general public: that’s not nice). My toddler has spoken about the “polka dots” on my face and my dermatologist even told me I “shouldn’t have to walk around looking like that.” Thanks, friend.

These things can get to a person—especially when you’re a girl and the problem is your face (let’s be honest: girls are judged based on their looks way more than guys are). I found myself avoiding eye contact when I was talking to people, as if not looking at them would mean they weren’t looking at me. I looked down whenever I walked anywhere and I avoided people I knew in public more than usual. I constantly had my hands up near my face when I spoke to anyone. It admittedly sounds silly, but I would have been perfectly happy to hide so that no one could see my face.

Fast forward a couple of weeks on a new medication (and an amazing new moisturizer) and I feel like a new me. My skin has cleared substantially. It’s not totally clear, but that’s ok. I feel people’s eyes moving down to my cheeks and chin less. I feel more comfortable talking to people. I feel less like a giant, blinking neon sign of imperfection.

So, of course, I see this tweet from Lorde this week:

Now, why the hell couldn’t I see a message like that when I was feeling all glum and bad about myself? And more importantly, why do I need a 17-year old singer-songwriter to shake me out of my funk and make me realize how insane it is to let my imperfections consume me?

I try so hard to teach my girls not to let things like this take them down. But how can I do that effectively when I don’t practice what I preach?

Have you suffered from skin issues? How do you deal? Does it get you down or are you more like Lorde? I think we need more ladies like her to call bullshit on the endless barrage of perfection we’re fed. I’m all for trying to be the best version of  yourself, but it’s discouraging to constantly be told you have to be perfect, don’t you think?

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Written by Jennifer Garry

Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she’s not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.