I planned to write an “I Have Zits” post, which would explain that I was well aware of the red splotches across my cheeks and bumps along my jaw line, but did not minimize their appearance for fear that liquid foundation was their meal of choice. A blue moon prevented the publishing of said post and brought me to a point where I could write one called “My Zits Are Gone, Yay!” Instead, I cleverly titled this post as is because you looked at the title and thought, Uhhh, who loves Zits? I do!
Apparently, Zits love me back since they have hung out on my face since puberty. The razors, the bras and the secret purse compartments indicated womanhood while my face conveyed more of an embarrassed thirteen-year-old boy sort of vibe.
Since Zits made themselves at home, I gave them the attention they deserved. My acne-centric routine started in the morning with an inspection, picking and popping of the newest crop. I invested thousands of dollars in face washes, creams and toners, painful chemical peels and uncomfortable laser treatments. I even tried No Chocolate or No Dairy i.e. No Fun. Each birthday I said, “I am this many years old, Mom, and I still have zits.” As though she was responsible and there was a magic birthday that would poof them away. As much as I thought and talked about Zits, I was pretty sure that this was not an unrequited love affair.
This mildly humorous description of my Zit situation has served as any well-functioning sarcasm would: to veil a deep wound to my self-esteem. I have not specifically wept over the presence of a pimple, but I was quick to react when a camera or hand got too close to the whitehead on my chin. I imagine myself to be a relatively happy person, with compassion for people and passion for odd things that interest me. When I looked in the mirror, I did not see this person. All I saw were Zits.
If this were a conversation, you would have interrupted me by now and said, “I’ve never noticed…” or “You are really pretty…” But this is my blog post so I’m going to kindly ignore you and continue. While I can appreciate someone seeing past a ruddy complexion, one comment could not overpower the continual voice inside my head.
No one else can convince you that you are beautiful. Zits have taught me that. I loved Zits when they were here, but I love them much more now that they are gone. I look in the mirror today and see my inner joy reflected outward. If you have a complaint about your skin, I am not going to whisk it away by complimenting you. I am going to tell you that I have something that can change that.