Everyone has them, so why do we pretend that we don't?
I think it’s safe to say that we would all feel so much better if we didn’t worry about how we look everyday. Society has conditioned us to believe that we should be totally aware of our appearance pretty much 24/7 in almost any scenario. These kind of insecurities – acne, moles, birth marks and many more are still judged badly today even though more awareness is being spread.
Probably one of the most disappointing realities is the irony of celebrities trying to reassure us about their own experiences - like, sure, it’s great that they’re opening up but then you scroll through their Instagram pages showing them looking perfectly flawless, making you think, ‘Why don’t I look like that?’
I remember I was watching a makeup tutorial once and the girl in the video talked about how much she hates her freckles and always prefers to use a thick foundation to make them less visible. I was kind of shocked, as I have a lot of freckles and they're one of my favourite features on myself; I just thought she didn’t need to use the foundation at all as she already looked so naturally pretty, but something had driven her to believe that she had to cover them up. From my own experiences, my mental health is prominently affected by my insecurities surrounding my skin, particularly acne and acne scarring. I’ve struggled with it on and off since my early teens and let’s just say it’s been an emotional rollercoaster.
The mixture of hormones, endless amounts of skin care products and stress really had me at my lowest and I had this idea in my head that it was all my fault and I couldn’t prevent it. One of the most irritating things for me was that I wasn’t seeing results fast enough and the process of waiting for it to get better seemed pointless.
Fortunately, a lot of people are now open about their skin and have embraced their insecurities, choosing to talk about them in order to help and support others which I hugely respect, but some people, like myself, feel they have to cover up even just to meet with close family and friends who we all know don’t care about the way you look and love you for who you are - yet I always had an element of uncertainty, worrying that they were secretly judging me. When these insecurities start to knock your confidence it’s hard to concentrate on enjoying yourself.
Brushing them over with makeup, covering up with clothes or extensively editing with Photoshop can be described as people's coping mechanisms, but we shouldn’t allow it to be like this. It’s important for us all to feel comfortable in our own skin - literally - so the process of accepting ourselves for who we are really is the foundation to all of this. These things are part of a process which can be long, but in due course everything always works itself out.