Last month we celebrated women, I mean shouldn’t we celebrate them all the time, we are the greatest made creatures right? ..but I digress. I recently had a beauty epiphany and have come to terms with certain physical flaws of mine; well maybe not so much an epiphany as I watched my skin burn, blister, crack and itch for a few weeks; recently I have experienced a certain degree of pain that brought the reality crashing home that this quest for flawlessness can get downright ridiculous. I have struggled with my appearance for some time, well a really long time and haven’t felt comfortable in my skin in just as long. I am getting older, where things should be they are starting to forget, I am a mother, who doesn’t want to look their best at all times?
Stress is a killer for so many reasons but my greatest adversary sends my hormones into a tail spin and unfortunately leaves its undeniable signature through blemishes on my skin. See if we were sitting face to face this would be a “Chile, let me tell you…” moment where I would recount every last life episode that has made me play in my insecurities for so long, but time is of the essence and I really just want to get down to the meat and potatoes of it all.
After years of looking at my blemishes and trying everything under the sun to get rid of them, both over and under the counter, I decided a year after my first consultation with my new dermatologist to undergo several chemical peels. PAUSE, what the hell was I thinking?? I did give it thought after a year but DANG! My first peel was slightly uncomfortable, a burning sensation, my chest was at a higher chemical percentage than my face, but after a couple weeks with minimal results and peeling I returned. For some reason I just started singing return of the mack, I don’t know it just came to me. Moving on….
After, speaking with the nurse we determined it would be best to increase the chemical percentage. The first peel I thought was bad, with the slight burning, after about twenty minutes it started to cool down and with all my windows rolled down on a blustery winter afternoon I went to work. This second peel *insert dramatic pause here* nearly had me ready to fight anything and anybody. I hopped off of that table so quick; I am surprised I missed the nurse with my unintentional round house kick. Good God, Good God, the burning was so intense, and on this second go round I decided to include my back. Listen, if I had any inclination that on this day I would have been ready to streak through the streets naked to catch the downwind I surely would have skipped it. My chest and back were immediately fire red and I felt like the skin on my back was literally melting off. It felt like I had been dropped in what I imagine the bowels of hell to feel like. By the days end I had a huge dark blister across my chest and back. A few days later my chest started to look like the equivalent to what an exploding hotdog looks like.
What I will say about this experience is that it allowed me to take of the mask that I have hidden behind for so long. It is no secret I absolutely love make up, I love the way it makes me look and how confident it makes me feel. You couldn’t catch me without make up not even for a quick trip into the convenience store (I do still fill in my eyebrows that is a non-negotiable). But let me tell you all those layers of make-up take work, from what I gather on YouTube. I was more of a foundation, set powder, do brows and lipgloss or stick kind of girl. I can however; see how celebs spend six hours in hair and make-up, but who really has that much time in the morning. I am a working, school attending single mom NO! Are there still days that I look into the mirror and say “Girl, you need to get your life together.” Absolutely, but less of those and more days of self-appreciation, less self-doubt, and more self-confidence. The world has beat me down enough, to add to their army does me a huge disservice.
But, at this very moment as I put pen to paper to share another personal moment in my life‘s journey as a mother and as a woman, I am learning that true beauty is beyond how we view ourselves. Beauty means allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to embrace your flaws and see past every blemish, burn and stretch mark and truly begin loving yourself. With loving yourself comes self-acceptance and in an outstanding fashion you can begin to present yourself in a way that allows people to love you as you are!
Kita says, “Love the skin you are in even if you feel like the Skin God’s hate you and misplaced your flawless.”
From Top to bottom (Make up Free, Beat to death and the chemical aftermath)