I could tell you the story of my weight in a sentence. I’ve been chubby, thin, and average– and no numbers on a scale have had any impact on my life. The story of my hair is a similarly simple tale. It’s straight, brown, and does what it wants.
There’s no angst embedded in either story, no epic journey to the stylings of perfection. It’s just weight, I think. It’s just hair, I say.
Skin is a different story.
Skin has been my odyssey.
I couldn’t write the story of my journey with skin in a single post. There would be chapters on my acceptance of the color (from visual and social standpoints), chapters on allergies and breakouts, chapters on scars and damaged areas, and chapters on texture. There would be pages about moles and what they mean, and veins, and the correct size of pores, and reviews of every fix-it on the market from expensive chemical compounds to natural treatments. I would write chapters about being unable to wear clothes because of my preoccupation with my own dark elbows, visible hair pores, stretch marks, and discoloration. I would have to explain how anytime I am asked to describe my husband, I start with the fact that he has beautiful skin as if it is his most prominent trait.
I remember holding hands with my parents as they held hands with each other. My dad’s skin, flawless espresso, as smooth and as even-toned as a coffee bean. My mother’s skin, pink satin, as soft and open as a peach rose.
I did not inherit this type of skin.
My skin is a Monet. From far away, or at a glance, I don’t think people notice.
When they look close, though, they see.
Freckles on brown skin. Scars. Breakouts. Oil. Dryness. Hives. Moles. Darkness next to lightness. Flaws. I am covered in them.
It is a body issue, one that is mostly in my own mind, but one that is also true. I can silence it for a bit. This month in particular– in order to be able to cope with wearing a sleeveless dress, no nylons, and precious little makeup to my best friend’s wedding– I have focused on not being obsessed with my own skin.
Five minutes later, I found myself in the washroom pressing bags of green tea up to my face instead of eating lunch.
So much for the silence of a mind at peace.
Green tea will be added to my regimen, and no doubt be another thing that fails the dream I’ve had since childhood– looking in the mirror and seeing the perfect skin of a coffee-colored rose.
FishOfGold’s post about Appearances challenged me to call myself out on my biggest body issue. Mine is not quite the same. I can look in the mirror and not notice. Plus, I think I’m pretty enough– skin and all.
Body issues are always so much more involved than they seem though. I teared up when writing this because it’s so embarrassing to be so worried about something so insignificant as my own skin– and because when describing my skin, I feel gross, even though I know better. It’s a silly vanity and a trick of the mind.
But silly tricks can still keep you up at night, and even confident people can have a chinks in their armor.
- Mama Bear Musings – A Total Monet
- Serendipity – Pretty Messy Life
- TheMatticusKingdom – Details
- One Starving Activist – Someone’s Baby Once
- Repressed Expressions – Ode to the Hair on my Chinny-Chin-Chin
- Goodbye Whoopie Pie – Crinkling Monets
- Journey Called Life… My Myopia and a Total Monet
- This Typing Makes Me Look Busy … – Ding Dong, Crazy is Gone
- Memoirs of an Unremarkable Man – Don’t Look Too Close, Except You Should
- The Seeker’s Dungeon – Forgive Me for Seeing Only Cowardice
- Sue’s Trifles – Monet Prompt
- Cognitive Reflections – A Total Monet
- Breathing Space – Ready for my Close Up
- Electronic Baglady’s Bag o Bits – The Knitted Monet Mind
- Adventures of an Aussie Girl in London – Things the Movie Clueless Taught Me
- AP Roberts’ Stories – Emma’s Vision Board
- … and you?