I don’t agree with beauty standards, and I don’t think they make any sense because how can someone be perfect? In the midst of imperfection, finding confidence and our place in the world is still possible. In reality, that’s what life requires of us. So, our mindsets around beauty should be more in touch with reality.
Everyone is unique, and being unique does not make you a failure. Imperfections are an inevitable part of life and learning to be confident whilst having them has been a game-changer in my life.
I grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, the capital, and the beauty standards here are not very liberal. Society expects women to have slim, tall bodies with fair, flawless skin. We’re also expected to have long hair. Likewise, I used to despise my acne because I always felt ugly whenever I had even one pimple on my face. I felt so furious because I never had acne on my cheeks before. I felt ugly and embarrassed. I rarely even wanted to go out, and when I did, I would put on make-up to cover my face. I was stressed out because no products seemed to work on me. On top of that, I was faced with the insecurity of seeing other people with clear skin. People would ask me questions, look at me, and it seemed like they were thinking mean thoughts about me. Like, having acne all over your face means that you’re ugly. Every day, I constantly worried about not having clear skin.
But after having cheeks full of acne for such a long time, I realized that despising your own skin doesn’t solve anything. So, I started trying to change my mindset and accept myself. I just didn’t want to feel shame anymore for having acne.
This is what interested me about skin positivity. It helps so many young girls and even women to feel more confident about themselves. It also helps change the mentality of society. That’s why I think skin positivity is a simple step towards a healthier beauty standard.
Eventually, I was able to gain self-confidence through skin positivity, and the endless support of my fiancé, family, and my closest friends. My fiancé played a huge role. Because my fiancé has a clear face, I used to feel embarrassed and insecure around him. But then, he said, “I would never love you less just because of acne.” Just by him saying this, I began to accept my imperfections more. I began to change my mindset. For once, I saw my imperfections and my beauty at the same time.
Furthermore, I came to understand that I was not the only one with acne. I found people facing the same struggle as me. I started to share about my acne journey on Instagram, and I was so surprised to have so many great responses from people that I don’t even know. People told me that they were inspired by me and that they wanted to start embracing their individuality too.
So, I’ve learned that we need to start accepting imperfections as normal. We can’t let the negative thoughts of others become our own. Just because you feel different doesn’t mean you have to feel less than. Always remember that you are not alone. My goal is to change the world’s beauty standards, and I aspire to be someone who blesses people with positivity. I know that I’m not perfect. I still have problems and struggles, but I have an even greater support system now. So, the difference is that now I’m confident in my worth, and I don’t judge myself for being who I am.