Image is everything.
This is perpetuated by our culture, in almost every way.
Literally, we are taught to judge people based on what they are wearing, how they look, what their pictures look like on Facebook, what photos they have framed on their walls, their snap chats, and Instagram pics. What we see is what we perceive.
We see faces. The first thing we recognize about a person is usually something on their face or related to their face. The faces we see in magazines and in commercials, on popular BuzzFeed posts, are faces that are clean, white, perfect.
I am white, but this conversation isn’t about race or ethnicity (two different things). This conversation is about when a girl doesn’t have a perfectly clean, white face.
Here is what I looked like before I took myself off of my birth control medication:
Here is my face right now, while writing this:
*Note: This is not a pity party, I have a point I promise.
Recently, Kenzie met someone really awesome and truly wonderful. He even supports my feminist beliefs. Also, talking in third person makes me feel really cool.
But my face hasn’t gotten any better. Probably worse if I’m being totally honest. I just picked up a new prescription today to maybe help it out, and I have a stronger birth control on the way, as well.
This summer before this began, I covered my face with makeup, washed it until it was dry and rough, and let the comments that rolled in from my family sting. I looked at old photos of myself and wished that I could go back and not be foolish, and stay on the birth control that had been prescribed to me.
This has changed. I stopped reapplying makeup in between classes, worrying so much about what others were seeing when they looked at me, and stopped asking my friends if it is really that bad.
I started trusting my significant other when he tells me I am beautiful.
I started trusting myself to believe I am beautiful.
Now I believe it.
So this change has come from within. I have decided to accept the things I cannot change. I have decided to believe the truth. I AM beautiful.
I AM BEAUTIFUL DAMMIT.
Lolz. I had to.
I believe in the power of karma. Now that I have accepted the things I cannot change, maybe some good change will come to me. Ok, and even if it doesn’t I will have medication to change it anyway. Zits, you’re doomed.
I use this lesson to check myself when I look at another girl and only think about what her face looks like, because what really matters about a person does not reside in their face.
Tell someone that their heart or maybe their brain looks really good today, and hope for a smile.
***Disclaimer: Obviously there is a shit ton more I could say about this. Like, how I have access to the resources that can help me not have acne on my face, or that because I am white there is privilege there. BUT my message is not about that, I want my message to be about how beauty should not be defined by others, it should be a choice that YOU make because you want to. I’m all about that choice (thanks Meghan Trainor).