Growing up having the pimple gene was tough. I was that girl who had a new pimple every week. I was that girl who had to learn and try different facial scrubs, toners, and creams at an early age. That girl who needed to take pills because the size of her acnes are getting worse the doctor says topical treatments won’t be enough. I was that girl who grew to be overly conscious that she refused to talk to people when she had the choice. But when she didn’t, she looked down whenever people try to talk to her, hoping that people didn’t stare at her pimple while she talked. I was that girl people refer to when they say, “Oh she can be really pretty if only she didn’t have pimples.” I was that pimply kid. And I still am.
Talking about me being a pimply kid is tough. It is a very personal and sensitive topic and it never fails to hit my weak spot. It is the monster under my bed, the monster inside my head. It’s my biggest insecurity up to this day and I have never really opened up about this in my blog or to any one for that matter. My decision to talk about this now is quite a rare and special moment. You can say I’m growing a backbone, or that I’m turning a page in my life. I think I am ready to acknowledge this weakness that I have always had and I finally choose to be strong about it. I want pimply kids like me to realize that they are not as shallow as they think they are and it’s normal to feel low with the monster in their faces. It may not be the gravest problem in the world, like poverty or AIDS, but it’s a problem that makes us cry or keeps us up at night. So it matters. I just want pimply kids out there to know that they are not alone in this battle.
My nightmare began in 5th grade when I had my first big pimple. First of all, who gets pimples in 5th grade??? Me! I remember it was on top of my nose, quite at the center, and it was as red as Rudolph’s nose. I don’t remember being teased about it, but it occupied my mind big time. I was a kid around kids who notice little details and find all things funny, so it got me really worried. You know how grade-schoolers can be pathetic and immature or how easy they can turn big moles or bad skin into the butt of jokes around school. But that was beside the point. Who gets pimples when they haven’t even started high school? Me. Who wants to be that kid? No one.
The tragedy continued in high school. After I hit puberty, the damn monsters have incessantly come and gone. On my yearbook pictorial in high school, I had this huge zit on my forehead. BOY WHAT ARE THE CHANCES. It was a mess. The make-up people tried to cover it up, but it’s either they weren’t good enough or the photo-editing group didn’t try hard enough because I still had the trace of a bump in my photo. Oh, it doesn’t end there. Apparently, my luck can get worse.
A week before my college yearbook pictorial, would you believe that I had a SUPER MEGA ULTRA huge zit on my chin??? That’s what I said! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES!?! It was a four pimple in one, four pimples joined together, I’m not even kidding! I put a band-aid over it because it’s size was a real shame. Also, my philosophy was if I put band-aid on it, germs can keep away or in other words I can stop my dirty hands from touching it or pricking it or doing nasty things to it that could make it worse. I have done everything — the toothpaste solution, the lipstick solution, the overnight pimple cream that I must have put 10x in a night — that maybe I had overdone it… Which must have only made it worse. I prepped the makeup artist by apologizing, because of the challenge of covering it up and she had that look of pity on her face. I tried, but all I could say is, Thank you Photoshop.
My monsters were a curse. The acne, the blemishes, the spots, the scars. All of them. Sometimes I blame my parents, because it was their genes that got me this curse. Sometimes I blame God. Because seriously, WHY ME? I could have been like the other girls who were born with perfectly clear and fair skin, but why did he have to choose me to suffer? It was a curse. It was a disease and I have had innumerable breakdowns because of it. It became the root cause of all my other problems. It always had me thinking that boys didn’t find me attractive because of it, or that when other girls see me they must be laughing or talking about it to themselves. To a teenager who felt the need to belong, be flawless and perfect, my life was a damn nightmare. I pitied myself and my self-esteem was non-existent.
That is why I always envied my friends who have always had clear skin. They don’t know how lucky they are. To be able to wear powder and experiment with makeup, like any other teenager, without expecting any breakouts after a day or two? How I wish I had that fate. There was a time that I had to go to the derma clinic every week and have my face get pricked, scraped, burnt, and injected with medicine that by the time I reach home I lock myself and cry in the bathroom. Did it sound like it hurt? Good, because it terribly did. It was physical turmoil that I couldn’t even touch or feel my face without wincing just a little bit. It hurt emotionally having to accept this fate in the face of dried-up blood and bruises from something that is not even intentionally my fault. It sucked.
Having pimples has been my insecurity since time immemorial that I think it explains why I have always tried to be the smart student, the good leader, or the fun friend. I tried to divert people’s attentions away from my face and on to all the achievements that I worked hard for. Maybe if I had this big and pleasing personality, people could ignore the monsters on my face and look deeper. Sometimes I thought it worked, but sometimes it didn’t really cut it. I know that appearance doesn’t define people, but only people without issues on how they look can confidently say that. It’s difficult when every time you look in the mirror, you see the problem. It’s an arduous feat, but I guess you just learn and accustom yourself to accept it. BE BIGGER THAN THAT PIMPLE ON YOUR FOREHEAD. That’s what I told myself.
I was that pimply kid and I still am. I still get breakouts every month. I still try new facial creams and cleansers. But something changed. I have accepted my fate and I haven’t stopped fighting the battle. I may have learned how to put a little makeup as an effort to make myself look and feel good. I’m still a girl, anyway. But even if I go out the world without concealing the zits on my face, I feel better now because I know I am more than that pimple. I am bigger than that pimple. It’s a constant battle, but I will fight it.
The bottom line? Kids, when you get a little older or more mature, you’ll realize that it’s okay to look imperfect. There will always be people who looked deeper, who will care about who you are and not what you look like. From experience, despite my insecurities, I have the best set of friends and family who look at me for who I am, who couldn’t care less how I look, and accepts me with all of my baggage. With or without my monsters. Now that doesn’t suck at all.