My name is Violet Disten, and I am from Free State, South Africa. I am a Mom of two boys and a skin-positivity blogger.
When it comes to my skin positivity journey, I have definitely come a long way. For the longest time, I never posted about my skin. It is only this year that I've started sharing my journey. And although I post myself on social media, the truth is, I've always battled with self-consciousness and a lack of self-esteem due to acne. I can remember when I felt better hiding and avoiding pictures. But gradually, I realized that I could help others by bringing my true self and my experiences to light. Now, I see that my story makes me unique, and amazingly, my journey has become a powerful source of confidence.
My journey begins around 12 years old. That was when I had my first break out, and my life subsequently changed.
Before my first breakout, I was a very outgoing person. I always took part in theater, choir, dance, and even sports. I was extremely extroverted. But, when the breakouts came, I started becoming self-conscious, and I started withdrawing. I began to put a lot of things on hold. Then, I started getting teased at school. I remember one time I was doing a presentation, and a boy was like, “There's a bump on your face...”
He gestured to the space between his eyebrows scornfully.
“It looks like it's going to pop out. So, can you move? Don't stand in front of me.”
Growing up, there were many moments like this. I've been called names like “lunch bar” (breakfast bar) because my skin was not smooth. So, after enduring all of this, I withdrew socially. And even now, I still have off days about my face. If someone is looking at me I feel like they staring at my pimples or scars. And when it comes to going out, you normally have to take pictures with friends, and this is something that still makes me anxious, especially if the entire group has clear skin because I don't. In general, I'm just more anxious about things because of acne.
So, for me, I feel like things would have been different if I did not have acne. I am a radio broadcaster right now, but I also want to do TV presenting and modeling. That's where I have always seen myself. But, it's been a challenge. When you go into a studio, and you see a person who has a flawless look auditioning for the same thing, and you don't, your confidence already feels shattered.
So, it's been a constant fight and a battle trying to build myself and trying to put myself out there.
Fortunately though, fitness has helped me tremendously, especially when I feel out of control of my appearance because of a breakout. So, if I have the opportunity to work out, I try to. But if I can't, it is what it is. The point is to invest in yourself, and that is what I have started doing. I still have days where I'm not in a good space. But, because I've invested in other areas of self-development and mental health, I'm able to pull myself out of that negativity. I ultimately know that my self-worth does not fall upon my physical appearance. I know that my face does not define me. I am more than my skin.
That's why I continue to focus on my strengths. I make sure that I do the things I enjoy and feel good about. Likewise, making these changes and investing in yourself doesn't have to be anything huge, it can be small steps and simple intentions.
As I mentioned before, I started focusing on my passions and the things I'm good at. For example, I love clothes, and creating different looks distracts me from thinking about skin, and it also helps me to express myself. So, I started posting different styles and outfits too. This has helped me come out of my shell and to accept myself more.
As I invest in myself, I'm beginning to understand that it's okay to have acne, and it's not my fault. I used to feel like, “Why me?” But, it's just genetic. With this knowledge, I'm much more accepting of my skin than I was before. I also am more confident in who I am.
I'm Violet. I'm not Violet hidden by skin, and I don't need to wear makeup. I accept my face, and I can say with confidence that self-acceptance has changed my whole perspective on life.
For 22 years, I wished so deeply and fought so hard for clear skin. But, I had to just accept my skin. And today, I can embrace and be myself.
But like I said, I know what it's like to be in a negative head space because acne profoundly affects you on an emotional and mental level. But, don't let it hold you back too long because it might be something you can't change. At the same time, do what you feel is necessary to find positivity and to feel okay. I don't want to tell you what to do. The journey is different for all of us. Just don't let it hold you back. If I had the understanding and acceptance of my skin, my path would have been different.
I would just say do not let acne dictate your life. I've just recently come to this realization. And moving forward, I would love to work with brands and fight for different skin textures and skin tones. I just want to tell people, "You are capable. You are worthy."