I was about 12 when my mom, who also suffered from acne, allowed me to wear make-up to cover it up. And cover it I did. With a vengeance. I spent hours in the mirror hating myself and trying to perfect a subtle, not masky mirage of clear skin. I was the Bobbi Brown of zit concealing. Seriously gifted. Finally, at the age of 39, after trying every product on the planet (besides tetracycline and Accutane which I refused to take because of the side effects), a combo of birth control pills and Retin-A finally, finally worked. Just in time to trade in my zits for wrinkles.
I've had clear skin with only the occasional random fleeting blemish for about 5 years now. And yeah, I take a lot of pictures now to make up for the hundreds of others I've torn up over the years. But now, my oldest daughter is 12. And her gorgeous face is marred with an infestation of pimples. We've tried the over the counter products. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and zinc creams. And yet they're still there. During the winter break we went to the store together and got her some cover up. The kind with acne medication in it. Hoping it heals and covers it.
We all have it. Maybe not acne. But some kind of body image issue. Something that makes you feel like hiding from the world and not showing your true face and the beauty within you. Something that makes you feel less than. Imperfect. Inferior. Insecure.
I want to take all my daughter's insecurities and pain away. But, I know I can't. They are her life struggles, not mine. And she must overcome them herself to become the strong woman she's well on her way to be already. I can't wait to watch her discover and uncover herself as the years pass. Just as my mom did with me.