Breakouts, pimples, and acne flare-ups are a part of life, for some more than others. They can be a cause of distress and self-esteem issues, like they were for me in the volatile middle and high school period of life, and that struggle often carries over into the adult professional and social world.
I know I’ve had my fair share of body image and confidence issues because of a poorly timed breakout. But over time, I’ve come to terms with acne, and I no longer let it control how I feel about myself or how I carry myself in social situations.
I’m still on a journey of complete self-love and acceptance, but here is some of the body-positive wisdom I’ve learned up to this point.
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Appreciate your body
It’s easy to look at all of the things you’d like to change about your body. But what we see as imperfections or blemishes are actually a part of our bodies’ natural operation, along with a bunch of other awesome things that our bodies do for us.
I’m an athletic person who loves to play sports and be outside, and my body lets me do that regardless of my acne. Hearing stories like Bethany Hamilton’s in “Soul Surfer” made me grateful for the things I often took for granted about myself, like having all of my limbs! Being thankful for the body I have instead of wishing I could change it has helped me stop worrying about acne and enjoy what I do.
The next time you are stressed about a breakout, take a moment to appreciate your amazing body, it will do wonders for your self-esteem.
Your face is unique! That’s something to celebrate
Think about how many people look like you. Maybe you share some physical traits with family members, but other than that, your face is uniquely yours! That’s a really cool thing that should be celebrated, not changed. And whether you like it or not, acne is a part of what makes your face unique. No, you don’t have to like your acne, but you can change how you think about it.
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A friend once told me that “acne gives your face character,” and that gave me a fresh perspective. Instead of thinking of acne as blemishes ruining my face, I see my pimples as features that make my face special, like a birthmark or freckles. This has boosted my body image and helped me be more comfortable with my acne.
People worth being around won’t judge you for your acne
Growing up, I had a lot of anxiety about how people perceived my acne, to the point that I wouldn’t participate in social activities if my skin was breaking out, even when I really wanted to. I knew that I never judged my classmates who had acne, but for some reason, I thought they were doing just that when they saw me.
However, as I built relationships with my friends and talked to them about my insecurities, I realized that almost everyone is worried about how they look, and they are not even thinking about how other people look. Besides, people who write you off for something as trivial as acne are not worth being around anyway.
Understanding that having pimples doesn’t make me an undesirable person has greatly improved my confidence, and it’s an important thing to remember whenever social anxieties about acne come around.
Acne isn’t fun, and there are treatments to help fight it. But the most important thing you can do is change your attitude toward your skin and your body. Tweaking your perspective will improve body positivity and push back on insecurities. What could be more important than that?