Oratile Hakala: Finding Faith in My Reflection

When I first started posting on Instagram, I used a lot of filters and makeup. But, last year, I decided to stop hiding. I thought to myself - “I need to show the world who the real Oratile Hakala is. I need to start being positive with my skin. I need to stop being insecure. I need to stop hating who I am. Because the more I hide and feel shame, the more people will have the power to ridicule me.”

However, it took me many steps to come to this realization. Back in high school, I did not accept my skin. And when people gossiped, it really got to me. My life was very hectic because of the negativity that surrounded me. I remember how boys and girls would pass me in school and call me “catfish” because of how I applied filters and makeup so often. Another girl used to call me “ice cream” because of how red my skin was. This all made me very insecure. I remember how jealous I used to get of my friends because they had beautiful, clear soft skin. All the while, I had dark spots and pimples, and about half of the girls in my friend group made fun of them. 

During that time in my life, I hated myself so bad. I didn’t even want to go out with my friends. They would ask me to go out, and I would be like - “No, Man! I’m not going anywhere!” Everytime that I went out, I was asked the same questions over and over again. It was always:

“What’s happening with your skin?” 

“Do this to your skin, do that.”

It made me so  mad, and I became lost in a constant state of irritation. I didn’t even know who I was. I used to look in the mirror and be like - “What??? Who is this girl?” I was losing myself, and I had to do something. I had to take back my power. I became determined to be more positive and to believe in Oratile. 

Every time that I woke up, I started telling my reflection that I’m pretty and beautiful. I started putting negative people out of my life, and I actually lost four of five friends, but I gained more self-worth.

Little by little, I stopped caring about people’s opinion on my appearance. I started putting myself first before others, and before I knew it, I had put the world’s negativity behind my back

Like I said, I took a lot of steps to get to this place. I would write in my notes - “Oratile, you need to be more positive.” Next, I started to look at other skin positive creators, but it took me a while to start posting. But when I finally did, I got positive feedback. I was so nervous, and I didn’t expect to get the positive feedback that I got. There were a few people that would dm me and say nonsense, but I focused on the fact that my followers enjoyed me being real with them. I focused on the fact that I was helping to uplift and inspire people.

I tell my followers to keep pushing, don’t let yourself down, hold your head up high, believe that you’re a queen, and most of all, live your life.

Don’t let people in your mind. This gives them the opportunity to make you give up on yourself, to make you feel like nothing, and to forget the beauty within your eyes. So, every time before you go to school or before you go to work, look in the mirror, and tell yourself that you’re beautiful. Tell yourself one hundred times if that’s what it takes. No matter what people say or think, remember that you will always be beautiful. 

Believing this was possible for me, and it is possible for all of us. Although my acne used to take me down and make me want to change, I truly learned to believe in myself overtime.