I Hate My Skin and It Makes Me Feel Like a Terrible Feminist


I hate my skin.

Since moving off oral contraceptives*, my face has exploded in oil. I wear foundation and pressed powder on a day-to-day basis, and  within ten minutes everything I’m wearing is an oil slick in the middle of my face. I look like I am perspiring from my nose.

Add this to the fact that my skin is pale and shows discolorations easily, and you get shiny skin with very red, very noticeable blemishes. This is only exacerbated when I pick at them, which is a disgusting, unhelpful habit that I nonetheless find soothing**.

The end result of this is that I really, really hate my skin. And it makes me feel like a terrible feminist.

I know, realistically, that oily skin is not the end of the world and is not any reflection on my personal hygiene habits or on me. I know that actual human beings have actual human pores and the fact that I do too should not bother me the way that it does. I know that most of my friends are women, which I do not date, and so the fact that my skin is in various states of hot mess does not change the way that most folks around me are going to think about me. (I hope.) I know that my skin has nothing to do with my ability to be interesting, or funny, or intelligent.

As much as I know all of these things (and I do!), I hate my skin with a visceral sort of disgust if I think about it too much.

I want to be the sort of person who can go all Amanda Palmer and just tell the beauty standard to go fuck itself while I let my pit hair grow and shave of my eyebrows. But I’m very clearly not. This leaves me with a sense that I have failed twice: once, by having bad skin, and twice, by being bothered by it.

This is not a healthy way to relate to my face.

I am curious whether going abroad will change my attitude about my skin. Not in a mystic-journey-to-a-place-where-people-are-so-above-that kind of way, but in a will-be-walking-lots-and-eating-better-and-not-spending-so-much-time-in-the-mirror kind of way. Until then, I am holding off on any feminist epiphanies. Because, truth be told? I still really hate my skin.

* Fuck yeah, Implanon.

** Type A? Me? Noooo.

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