Liz (29) is a Brooklynite who is living her best life.
I started posting my skin last year in December because I was breaking out in small areas of my face. It went away, but every time I took medication, it came back even worse. During all of the stressful periods in my life, I’ve always broken out. And during that December, I was stressing out over the fact that I couldn’t clear the acne. I couldn’t figure out what was causing it, and that made it even worse.
I’ve suffered from acne ever since I was in high school. My junior year in high school is when I first broke out. It was really painful acne. None of the medication I was taking worked, but when my family went on a vacation in Mexico, I actually got medication. I took those medications, and it didn’t come back until college. When I got to college, I still had school and home responsibilities, and so the stress of that made my acne come back.
In 2018, my whole face broke out, and it was hard because that reminded me of being in high school. In high school, I was very quiet and shy. I didn’t know how to talk to people, and it took me a whole semester to make a friend because I was that quiet. I would just do my work and come home.
But I was an adult now, and all of a sudden, my face was really red again. I was even on meds. I remember one day that I had to go pick up my meds, and I was waiting in line. A little girl was walking past me with her mom, and she looked up at her mom and asked - “what was wrong with her face?” I thought to myself - “Crap, I can’t believe that she saw me.” I just wanted to hide. I was so surprised that she saw because I would always wear hats too, and I would just try to cover up as much as possible. It was terrible, but I’ve grown to a point where I’m just like “whatever” about my skin. And I think that in not caring so much, I’ve found confidence.
Recently, I’ve been exploring different clothing, and I’ve been buying stuff that I normally would not wear. Growing up, I used to see stuff and think - “oh, I couldn’t pull that off.” But, I’m more comfortable in my body so I’m slowly changing my wardrobe now, but I’ll admit that I still have a drawer full of flannel shirts. I still have a lot of black and blue clothes, but last year I started buying more colorful shirts. I just purchased a light green off the shoulder shirt, and I even got a red one too. It’s still coming in the mail so I hope that I like it. I also bought this skirt with suspenders attached. I wore it the other day, and I felt awesome. Lately, I’ve just been growing into myself. I’m a lot happier now, and I’m able to speak to people even when I am slightly terrified. As terrifying as putting myself out there is, I still go for it. Sometimes, I still really recede into myself, but that’s something I’ve been working on. I still don’t force it though. I focus on being myself as much as possible because I realize that meaningful connections are when people like you for who you are rather than who you’re trying to be.
It’s true that there are still days where I stare at myself in the mirror, and I feel like it could be better. But, I’ve learned that my skin is never going to be perfect. I like it the way it is, and I like who I am. These days, I’m leaning more towards skin neutrality. I know my skin is not perfect, but I don’t really care. It is what it is. I’m not trying to meet anyone’s standards. Right now, I am meeting meet who I truly am.