acne pains

written by bunny

at this point in my life i have had acne longer than i haven’t. i was first majorly aware of my acne during the sixth grade when i had it all over my chest. my english/history teacher was fluent in audacity and did a lot of really inappropriate things during her time at my middle school. however, on one particular occasion she had pulled me aside and asked if i had chicken pox and was, of course, referring to my acne. 

that next summer i tried proactive. i developed a large rash all over my chest, it lasted for a while and so, my blistering hot summer was filled with turtlenecks. the rash had honestly scared me. i was so young and already smearing my face with makeup in order to cover up my acne. 

as i went through middle school and later high school, my acne set me apart from my peers. i wasn’t deemed as attractive and i never had a boyfriend or girlfriend. if anything i was the dorky, sheltered kid with glasses and acne. i was pretty outgoing and ‘out-there’ to say the least, but never once did i feel genuinely pretty or desired. 

during my junior year of high school i was able to go abroad. it was, above all else, an amazing opportunity, one that i am very grateful to have had. however my first host family was really comfortable in talking about my appearance, even questioning why i was so white even though i lived in california. i specifically remember my host mother commenting on how i had a lot of ‘pickles’ (pickels) or pimples in english. like, as if i didn’t feel them or see them on my face everyday. as if i haven’t felt the treatment acne has brought me.

after i came back, i sort of left my insecurities about acne go away with childhood. i got boobs, which meant my face didn’t get as much attention lol. but more than that, i finally felt comfortable in my skin, i felt beautiful and fashionable and cute. it didn’t matter i had acne, i was smart, motivated and had some amazing friends.

however, i started dating this boy the first year of college and we would do everything together. he, at least in the beginning, always brought his camera. one night, after driving to the beach, making out and taking some pictures, he took one of me. i asked him how i looked and he replied with ‘everyone has acne.’

what he said brought me back to reality. it didn’t matter how much i disregarded my acne or if i removed it from my own image of myself because no one else could or would do that. the first thing they noticed was my acne. it felt as if no one could look past it, and that i was reduced down to it. 

as i have gotten older my acne has lessened but it definitely hasn’t disappeared. having left that relationship and entered into a new one with myself, i have felt freed by my acne. it is a part of me that shows my emotions, stress and happiness. 

i think anyone who has struggled with acne understands the pity, desexualization and outcastness that comes with it. people do not look at you the same, they feel as though they are allowed to freely comment on it. acne can be isolating and can take a huge toll on  self-esteem. but acne is just apart of everyone’s life and it really is no big deal. acne is just acne. it doesn’t make you less attractive even if others treat you like it does. those people probably wouldn’t treat you well either way.

my acne has brought me closer to myself and to other people. some of my best friends are those who have cared for me and cared for my skin. they are gentle and understanding and so loving when it comes to my acne. i cherish them for making me love my skin and helping me take care of myself. 

i still hate having uninvited conversations about my acne and even other people’s to be honest but it no longer causes me the same distress it once did. i am no longer crushed by the weight of other people’s assumptions or thoughts about my skin. i don’t need to give a fuck, i love my skin and i love my acne. i am a human, you’re human, of course we are going to have fucking acne.

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