“7th grade, my skin started to break out. Everyone around me had flawless skin and a perfect face. I was blessed to have friends who never made me feel like something about me was different. However, this changed when I turned 14. I was leaving school post an exam when a teacher stopped me and said, "Oh honey, you need to go to a doctor for your skin." I was very confused by her words. She was a complete stranger, and the reason for her "advice" was lost to me. So I, very calmly turned around and said, "You need to go to a counselor. You are very negative," and walked out. I was very irritated, this was a first! When I got home, I couldn't control my tears. I cried a lot. It was as if she had pushed a button to trigger the insecurities in me. I started to think about how much validation I had needed from others all my life. It was just because others made me feel good that I felt good about myself. Now that somebody had pointed out a flaw in me, I felt terrible. It was very unsettling. I realized that I needed to accept myself from within to not be affected by others. I questioned myself and my friends and wondered if they would treat me differently if I had perfect skin?
I ditched all my plans for the summer so my friends didn’t see my face. I had never felt so self-conscious, but that one incident had really put me down. Felt like I was being suffocated. I needed to get out of this rut or being cooped up at home would kill me. An opinion anybody had of me and my skin did not have to become my reality. It was the final year of school. I was probably never going to meet them again. I applied to colleges where I would not see familiar faces. Starting design school at NIFT, I was glad to know nobody there. My school friends never made me feel bad about my insecurities, but I wanted to face college alone because I was insecure myself. However, college was a clean slate for me as I had the chance to show people who I really was and wanted to be. My skin was really messed up in college as well, but I gained confidence through my work and finally started to feel comfortable in my skin. There were always uncles and aunties who unecessarily commented on my skin. A couple of these incidents made me to go to 3-4 dermatologists but it never worked. So after anxiously waiting for the condition of my skin to turn around I decided that enough was enough. I couldn’t keep applying medicine and taking tablets and hope for things to get right. So I decided to let nature take its course.
Currently I am in a much better headspace. There are times when I still need to put foundation on when I attend functions or when meeting new people. On some days I go out make up free. I won’t lie, it is difficult to entirely love yourself as that is a work in progress. Self accpetance has not been a breeze. Everybody goes through something in their life. For me it was skin, for some it is their hair/ weight or it could be anything else. Everybody has problems. At the end it is all about the process. You are going to hate yourself on some days and love yourself on some. Your feelings are never going to be constant. You can only try and be as positive as you can be and be the best version of yourself."