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Tag Archives: self-esteem

Skin Deep

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I would like to preface this entire post by declaring that I am not and have never been a girlie girl.  I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure (I refuse to have people touch my feet);  I get my hair trimmed maybe twice a year for under $20 each time; I keep my accessories simple and had been using the same handbag consistently for well over a year, until I just got a new one while in Guatemala. I just like to keep things simple.  However, there was a time, which ended not more than a few years ago, when I would NOT even leave my house without a full face of makeup.  Now, it’s not like I caked it on or anything, but I would not allow others to see me without at least a good coat of foundation.

Please don’t back out on reading this now because you think it’s a post about makeup.

My problem was my self image.  Around my early high school years I developed a case of acne that didn’t really go away until I was almost thirty.  Once I grew out of the awkward stage of body parts and facial features not quite fitting together in proportional solidarity, the acne came.  One of the most devastating backhanded compliments I often heard was, “You’d be really pretty if you didn’t have acne.”  Gee thanks.  You’d be a nice person if you weren’t so inconsiderate.  I would almost have rather had them just say I was ugly.  At least then I’d have known where I stood.  But knowing the only thing standing in my way of being “pretty” (and even if I was never a girlie girl, there isn’t a girl alive, no matter what she says, who does not want people to think she is pretty) was having some zits really hurt.  I tried everything to gt rid of them.

My self esteem was shot and I barely wanted to show my face in public even with makeup, so going without was impossible.  This way I could at least hide the more minor imperfections.

Then a huge challenge came along.  Running.  I’ve discussed this here before.  I began running about three years ago for the purpose of raising money in a race, and then, as Nike suggested, I kept just doing it.  A group of us would meet weekly for a run and I remember that it was a big deal that I was going to be not only sweaty and nasty in front of people, but makeup-less as well.  Totally vulnerable and, in a way, exposed.  The thing is… so was everybody else, and I didn’t notice people looking too carefully at my skin or anything.  I know it seems silly if you’ve never gone through this but I had real issues when it came to this, so it was a hard obstacle to overcome.

I’ve finally come to understand real beauty, and though I still like to wear at least some minimalist foundation when possible, I’m not afraid of going without anymore.