Sunday, November 24, 2013

Acne is more than skin deep, How to really love the skin you're in.

"It's time to stop focusing on our flaws and appreciate what you love about your body" - Emily VanCamp

Acne, (definately doesn't look like this picture) we've all suffered with it at some point of our lives, some earlier and longer than others.  While some people eventually outgrow their acne outbursts, others like me aren't so lucky. I've been struggling with acne for as long as I can remember, and through the years I've tried almost every product there is in existence claiming to help cure or at least manage your acne with barely any results. Anyone whose gone through the same thing as me can agree it can be very emotional trying products everyone's raved over and have experienced miracles with, just to come out with a face filled of empty promises and a bigger dent in your pocket. Acne is basically a pre-packaged deal, an expensive bundle of emotional torture and self acceptance. It can make you feel extremely insecure, like you don't want to go outside for the fear of judge mental whispers or remarks and can create insecurities you didn't even know you could have after hours of examining you're face in the mirror each day. I went through these emotions pretty much everyday, I tried to avoid face to face contact because I was afraid of what people would think of my acne. Soon, as ridiculous as this may sound, acne started to run my life. My confidence levels shot down like temperatures during an east coast snow storm. I isolated myself from everyone other than my close friends. You may ask yourself why would I do that and wouldn't that make things worse? I did it because I wanted to avoid all the looks that came as a bonus in my pre-packaged acne deal. Plus makeup couldn't hide the emotional scarring from years of failed attempts and ruthless bullying. So to me I was doing myself a favor. One day after waking up to yet another breakout I did something completely crazy. Instead of reaching for my acne creams and concealers I threw them away. No, not far in the back of my cabinet (you know out of sight, out of mind) but in the trash. I threw away all my acne pills, foundations, concealers, powders, bronzers and blush, with the exception of a $60 blush I got from London, (Come on,  it was from London!) everything was gone!! I was tired of covering up the one thing I was most ashamed of and to be honest it was  really a great feeling knowing I didn't have to anymore. In a moment of clarity I couldn't help but think "What did I just do?" and "Great, I can't turn back now". All kinds of emotions went through my head. I didn't know what was worse, the fact that I threw away what had to be over $200 worth of makeup, or the fact that I had to accept the fact that I had to go outside bare faced. Nothing but me and my acne, and a little bit of mascara but that's besides the point. It was time to take back my life, I was officially on the journey to love who I was, flaws and all. The first couple of days were undoubtedly the most uncomfortable days of my life, going outside with everyone looking at me and pointing made me feel like some kind of freak show. And for the first time in a long time, I felt vulnerable and exposed, but I knew I had to accept it to move on in my journey to self acceptance. Before I knew it,  I began to switch the way I thought about people and things. I really started to understand that people are gonna judge you no matter what even if you somehow manage to successfully cover up all your acne or if you think you picked out the best outfit and makeup to match. There's always something, whether it's the way you walk or the way you present yourself. Sure not everyone is like that, but let's admit it we've all had a moment where we thought "why even wear socks with sandals? Are you hot or are you cold? make up your mind." No, probably just me. Anyway my point is people are gonna talk so like the famous Bonnie Raitt once said: "Let's give them something to talk about." and for the first time instead of running from all the criticism I embraced it, I had no choice but to try and it worked, I finally started to accept myself and my flaws. After about 2 weeks of no makeup, eating clean (and by eating clean I mean incorporating more salads into my diet instead of just on my burger. Baby steps guys, baby steps..) taking the right vitamins(the gummy ones are the best), yoga and a lot of soul searching I went from asking why me? to why didn't I do this sooner? You see, I finally realized I have nothing to be embarrassed about. Sure I'm no Victoria's secret model, but in a world with a population of over 7 billion people obviously not everyone will look like one and that's OK. Everyone has flaws you just have to accept them and ignore what everyone else thinks. Sure you may have acne and yes people are gonna judge you because you don't fit the mold of what society says is  "beautiful"  but remember you're doing or have done what most people can't do and that's accept yourself as is. Showing people you're not afraid of what they think is more powerful than any name anyone can call you, and showing yourself  that if you can expose the one thing you're most self conscious about then you can do anything. So go ahead, go outside and rock those socks and sandals like you were the one who invented the trend, and remember everyone has insecurities, don't judge others, and learn to embrace your own. So my challenge to you  is to try the #bareitallchallenge. Let's see how long you can go with no makeup that includes: foundations, concealers, powders, bronzers,and blush, no eyeliner, no false lashes, or eyeshadow, and no you can not fill in your brows. Although a little mascara won't hurt, only A LITTLE!!!!! and none of those "no makeup makeup" looks count, that is definately considered cheating. Track your progress with us by tweeting us your pictures and stories under the hashtag  #bareitallchallenge and follow @beauty_breaking on twitter! Are you ready to bare it all?

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