On Instagram, I get a lot of DM's talking about how brave or how self-confident I am, but I wasn't always like this. It all began when I developed my first pimple at the ripe age of eight. I thought that I had an allergy to that strawberry candy, you know the kind that every older person seems to have lying in their living room? My mother decided to buy me a small bag, and I would sneak downstairs and eat all of them before dinnertime.
One day, I noticed that I had three small red dots on my chin. I remember running downstairs and crying out to my mom. In my head, I thought, "I'm allergic to strawberries!" As an avid consumer of all things strawberry, this was my worst nightmare. However, as the weeks went by and more of these little dots started to form, some getting bigger and even developing puss. My mom finally knew what was going on; I was getting pimples, and puberty was right around the corner.
Having acne in primary school never really bothered me because everyone was too focused on crayons and simple math to care about how other people looked. It wasn't until I got to middle school that it hit me: having acne was seen as a terrible, disgusting thing. I had just transferred to a new school, I had no friends, and I was constantly teased for having acne. People would call me "pizza-face" or say that I was dirty, and in every argument that I found myself in, people would always bring up the fact that I had acne. By the end of eighth grade, the acne comments subsided, and I had a decent little friend group, plus everyone was getting older, so having acne was more common. The problem
wasn't necessarily the comments that I was receiving from other people or lack thereof. It was more so how I viewed myself
. Growing up around the same time that social media was beginning to form, I started to become more critical of my appearance. There was nothing wrong with my physical appearance, but every time I would look in a mirror, the first thing that I saw was my acne
. That meant that every time I went outside, I was always aware of it. I could never really have fun without thinking, "I bet this person is looking at my acne," or "I look horrible, my skin looks horrible."