For any of you who follow me on Snapchat, you’ll know that I mostly post videos and pictures related to my blog: unboxing, behind-the-scenes during photoshoots, and shopping excursions. I also post about going to get coffee with my family, my obese cat (if you think I’m kidding, I’m not – she’s HUGE), and sometimes little recipes and random funny things. However, recently I decided to take a massive leap for myself and for all of you, and I did an entire Snapchat story in relation to my biggest insecurity – my face. The video is at the top of this post for you to watch and get an idea of what I’m talking about.I didn’t want my story to take up too much time on Snapchat, so I cut it shorter than I planned, but the response was so overwhelming, I decided it was entirely necessary to write a full post on the topic.
As I said in my video, from a young age, I received criticism on my face and my skin. I’ve had horrible allergies for a very long time, and because of that, I have deep purple circles under my eyes. People used to question me and ask if I was alright, and if my home life was okay when I was little, because it literally would look like I had a black eye. When I was relatively young still, my sister introduced me to concealer, and I began by just putting that under my eyes to help my appearance not be so frightening. Then I started dealing with acne, and by the time I was thirteen years old, I was wearing a full face of makeup (yep, I’m talking foundation, concealer, powder, and the likes) just to cover up my blemishes – though there weren’t many yet.
In high school, I actually had a YouTube channel for makeup tutorials. This had only recently become popular, so I jumped on the bandwagon since my dream at the time was to become a makeup artist. This was something I absolutely loved, but I never actually showed my face without anything on it because I had become so self-conscious. I would always get excited when I found a girl that did tutorials and who didn’t have flawless skin, but I was never confident enough to show my own. I hated going to the beach or the pool during the summer because I wouldn’t take off my makeup and so people would giggle and make fun of the fact that I had a full face of makeup on while I was splashing around in the water. I was part of musical theatre in high school as well, and I refused to have anyone aside from myself do my stage makeup (side note: as much as that sucked at first, it ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was requested as a makeup artist for the shows even after I finished high school – so that was encouraging and I still thank my summer camp directors for giving me that opportunity).
I dealt with an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety as well, which only increased my skin issues. My occasional acne became worse and worse, to the point where I would actually sleep in my makeup because I, myself, couldn’t stand looking at my face without it. Now, I deal with some major digestive issues which has made not only the acne worse, but my skin pigmentation is totally “off” as well. Then I became a fashion blogger. How on earth, in a world filled with all these beautiful, seemingly flawless women, would I be able to survive? Comparison has been a very challenging issue for me throughout my entire life, and now I was deeply enthralled in the beauty and fashion industry – where it’s completely dog-eat-dog! I will say that there are many ladies that are showing who they truly are and they accept others in the most encouraging manner, but I have also seen the opposite.
For the past month, every day that I got on Snapchat, there was at least one lady who would cover her face in shame, swear by filters, or ridicule her “terrible skin,” only to reveal in the next video her near-magazine-cover-perfect skin. It made me stop and think, “if that person thinks that they’re so ugly with one, barely visible blemish, then what would they think if they saw my face without any makeup? What would they say about my acne-ridden skin and black eyes?” It hurt my heart, because while those people may think they’re only critiquing their own skin, they’re not only bullying themselves, but they’re affecting the mindset of their watchers or readers. I was talking with one of my life-long friends, and flat out told her, “I’m thinking about just showing my face to the world and taking a stand and seeing what happens,” and she said, “I think you should do it!” I kind of shrugged it off, but then two days later when I woke up and got on Snapchat, I saw yet another flawless lady talking about how unsightly she was, and I practically threw the covers off my bed and was like “that is enough.”
After posting my short story on Snapchat, showing my makeup-free, filter-less skin, and then totally freaking out over the fact that I just showed all that to all of social media, the responses immediately came flying in. Not only did I receive compliments on my beauty without makeup, but women and men began sharing their stories with me, telling me how insecure they were and how social media and the fashion and beauty industry has made them question themselves and their worth. My heart was simultaneously warmed and saddened. It was comforting to know that my vulnerability had helped other people, but I want to do more. I want to stand and make a difference in my blogging world, and outside it. I can’t just sit still and watch people hurting and questioning their beauty, because the thing is: whether you have acne, stretch marks, pigmentation issues, extra weight, glasses, you’re in a wheelchair, or anything else, you are still beautiful. You are not alone. I may not struggle with every single challenge, but I have a few, and I know that there are so many who can relate. We should be encouraging each other’s beauty internally as much as externally. Our hearts, the way we care for others, the stories we are writing are all unique and completely beautiful.
I’m not sure what you’ll come away with after reading this – and seriously if you read all this, you’re incredible – but I hope you truly take away the fact that you are more than just your skin or your size, and you always have someone to talk with. I want to hear your stories, whether you’re still going through it, or whether you’ve come through it to a better place. And I want you to take a moment today to find something about yourself and about someone around you that you find completely beautiful.