Having acne means...

Looking in the mirror and hating what you see,
Buying makeup products to hide everything,
Using your long hair as a shield
And ducking your head down, tired of your insecurities.

-Hello lovely people of the WHI community.
I'm back with yet another article. This one is inspired by something that happened recently, but before I get into it, I'd like to emphasize the fact that I myself have acne. Like every other person out there, I have struggled with it and sometimes, I still do, but having had it for about 4 years, I'd like to think I'm past that point.


With that out of the way, let me tell you now what this is about and why I'm writing this. I'm open about my acne (in the sense that my face is bare) and I do treat it. Well, this year, I changed my class and I met new people. Some downright judged my decision of leaving my acne in the open for the world to see and some (mainly the ones who had acne themselves or got some bad breakout sometimes) were miffed at my actions.

I made new friends and one of them, a girl who had acne herself, but unlike me hid it with foundation, talked to me about her insecurities. Her acne had started pretty recently and before that, she'd had clear skin. She felt that by covering it up, she was holding onto the better part of her, but she was tired of having to wake up every morning to cover her flaws up.

We had a lengthy conversation about it and she asked me one question that made me realize a multitude of things.

How do you do it? How do you walk around with your flaw out in the open?

It took me a while to answer, to be honest. I had never thought of my actions as anything out of the norm, so I had to think it through. It's hard to put in words a mindset that is so incredibly unpopular, half of the people around me consider me a fool for sticking to it.

"I don't know," I told her. "I have struggled with my acne and the first two years were downright hellish. However, I was too young to turn to makeup as a confidence boost and a shield, so I just had to suck it up and continue on as if it wasn't there. It's a little trick I picked up along the way. If you don't acknowledge it, then no one else will."

"It was a trick I dropped pretty soon. A walk around the city will show you just how many reflective surfaces there are out there and, each and every time my eyes landed on my reflection, a piece of my fake confidence chipped away. I admit it was toxic. Self-love was a completely foreign concept for me and my confidence was at an all-time low. I spent two years like that. Too childish to realize what I was doing to myself."

"I had just started out on Instagram and the first accounts I followed were beauty sites and magazines, all showcasing the standard box a girl had to fit in to be called beautiful. A box drawn by society. It amplified my struggle with acne. At around that time, my mom took me to a dermatologist. That's most probably what saved me from the self-loathing I'd started developing."

"Starting different treatments helped me mentally way more than physically. My acne is purely hormonal, which means it will leave sometime during my teenage years, so the treatments were more to keep it 'restricted' rather than heal it. However, seeing it calm down and learning all about it helped me realize that there was nothing wrong with me. In fact, it showed that everything was right and that my body was healthy."

"The road to accepting something so socially unacceptable as acne was a hard one, I admit. Even now, people still give me disgusted looks when I pass by them and there's a bad breakout on my face, but, at the end of the day, the only opinion which matters is mine and mine only. And, you know what? I love myself."

A week later, she ditched the foundation.

My opinion on acne is really unpopular. So unpopular that I couldn't even find a fitting cover image anywhere on the net. Still, I know there are hundreds more people out there who share the same insecurities as my friend and I hope that, by reading this, they will realize that:

acne, skincare, and normal skin image
Acne is normal.

To me, having acne means...

Looking in the mirror and seeing proof you are one healthy, hormonal teenager,
Throwing away all the makeup that just makes everything worse,
Pulling your hair up into a ponytail and leaving your flaw out in the open
And keeping your head up high, accepting everything that makes you beautifully imperfect.

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.”
– Stacey Charter

sky, grunge, and purple image

Thank you for reading and I hope you found this inspiring enough to give yourself the love you deserve.

My other articles (Shameless self-promo right there)