This weeks blog, I wanted to share some personal stuff that I haven’t really told anyone before!
I want to do this in the hopes that it may help someone out there. Even if it’s just in a small sense to help them feel like they have someone to relate to and maybe give some comfort in knowing they aren’t alone and that it’s more than okay to be you. (approx. 7 min read xx)
Ever since I was in primary school, I remember feeling self-conscious about the way I look.
I had rosy red cheeks and very fair eyebrows which also had a red hue on the skin behind them.
I’m sure this is far more common than not, but I didn’t have any friends who looked like me.
Other kids used to say weird shit to me like “do you shave your eyebrows?”.
Also in my family I would be teased. Families often joke with each other and that’s totally normal but in particular, one aunty would tease me about my chubby cheeks, “huge” arms and barely-there brows. Which made me feel like the odd one out. A weirdo.
However, I was young and assumed everyone in my family loved me anyway, no matter what I did or looked like.
But I can recall the final instance that really got to me.
I was about 7 or 8 years old and we were lining up for the yearly class photos.
You know the one, when you had to go sit with everyone in your class and look all keen, finally get the picture and then shuffle off into another queue to smile like a geek for a solitary shot that your mum would dish out to the grandparents.
Anyway, it was in this queue that the principal came up to me and asked me to “wipe that lipstick off my face” to which I replied with a blank stare.
He then held up his thumb and tried to wipe. my. eyebrows. off.
He let out a confused “huh” sound before he realised and scuttled off back to his office.
I was stunned and not sure as to who was the most embarrassed by this interaction.
But I went inside feeling really sad and, well, ugly.
This feeling stuck and I fully dwelled on it becoming hyper-sensitive to comments about my appearance.
I started comparing myself to my friends and I remember I would stop eating my lunch and throw it away in some sort of compensation, as though I didn’t deserve it.
It was somewhat of a relief when a year or so later I went through chemo and all my hair fell out. Like, at least now I matched.
My rosy-red cheeks disappeared entirely as there was little life left in me.
As my hair started growing back around age 12, I discovered makeup.
All I wanted to do was blend in to the crowd so I learnt how to cover my redness and pencil in my brows.
I finally felt like I looked somewhat normal.
I can’t say I was excited about leaving Intermediate and heading to high school. I wasn’t excited about anything, really.
But I was ready to leave behind the awkward in-betweener stage of my life where I was only known as “the girl in the blue beanie” or, my favourite, “Smeagol”. To be fair I was sick af and did actually look like this lol so at least they we were accurate.
So, I continued playing with makeup through high school.
Despite the other girls who would take the piss out of me for it. I resented their hissing whispers but kept practising. I remember hating pretty much everyone at my school and I know I was really hard to be around. I would carry all the side-eyed looks, rumours and backstabbing around with me and bring the negative vibes home.
However, makeup never eventuated into anything more than a tool I used to make myself feel more comfortable about my appearance.
This became rather dangerous as I quickly believed that I needed makeup in order to even leave the house.
I felt like if I looked perfect then nobody could diss me for anything. Like I was taking their ammo away.
Rules started forming in my mind about how I was supposed to look and even friends and family weren’t allowed to see me without my makeup on.
I was so incredibly insecure and actually fearful of being seen without it.
As the years went by, this fear increased in depth and enveloped me.
Now, no one was allowed to touch my face.
Even if a friend reached out and said “oh, there’s a hair stuck on your face let me get it off for you” I would recoil and I’m sure a couple of times I snapped at them to not touch my face.
I couldn’t accept any compliments because I felt like they would never say those nice things to me if they knew what I “really” looked like.
I’m well aware now of how silly all that may seem and how I really held myself back. I can now see how almost childish it is to depend on other people’s validation for your own self worth. You need to have it within you and it can’t be something someone can take away from you.
If you’re not “hot” in school, then that’s all good. You just haven’t peaked yet. Who would want to be the kind of person who wants to live in the past and will never be the “greatest” like they were in high school.
Disclaimer: Of course, it wasn’t just my appearance that contributed to my deteriorating mental health.
I suffered from PTSD due to the multiple hospital experiences but, I’d be in denial if I didn’t acknowledge that it played a role.
So to keep it relative to the subject, that is as far as I will disclose here.
I’m so grateful that I now have a full grip on what contributed to my multiple mental health issues in the past. I reckon it’s really important to get to know anything you are experiencing through honest self-reflection and research.
By reflecting back on events, I can pin point what events lead me to feel certain things and develop core beliefs that limited me.
This helps me explain to myself what the hell I was on about back then. It has helped me to forgive others and myself, learn from it and ultimately get the f u c k over it.
And so, now that I am fully through the dark tunnel and loving my life on the other side, I would be more than willing to share my experiences in further detail in another blog post if anyone would find it at all useful or comforting.
So how did I learn to love my natural skin?
The truth is, I don’t.
Not 100%. Not yet.
But what I have learnt is that I am ok, just the way I am.
By investing in skincare that really works for me and with the help of my amazing partner, I have felt comfortable enough to let friends and family see me without a full face of makeup.
Some even without any makeup at all.
He has also encouraged me and helped me to go out the house to the supermarket with no makeup on at all and interact with the staff there.
This may seem ridiculous to some of you, and that’s ok because that means you’ve never felt so incredibly low about yourself so I’m genuinely happy for you.
Speaking openly about it definitely helps too.
My good friend said she could relate to this. She said something about her own insecurity that really rang true, “it’s just a characteristic like curly hair or brown eyes. It’s just a part of you not something you should feel you have to hide.”
It may not be every time I leave the house that I feel comfortable enough to wear no makeup, but the amount of times I can is increasing.
I hope this “back-story” post has helped some of you to feel like you’re not alone in your past experiences and that you’re allowed to be you, no matter what that looks like.
I’ll be doing more posts about my natural skin after my vaycay!
I got my brows cosmetically tattooed a few years ago and after a few consultations this year, I’ve been informed that the woman who did them pretty much fucked them up lol sooo they have to be fixed now. Yay.
I will definitely be blogging about this experience too with advice!
There will also be a post on my skincare routine featuring before and after pics of my bare skin! So stay tuned and follow if you’re interested in getting some great skincare tips.
Keep being you,
Megan is the CEO of Maverick Cosmetica
Maverick is a New Zealand online makeup store out of Megan’s home on the beautiful Kāpiti Coast.
All orders $50+ receive FREE shipping NZ wide
Buy any 2 Antipodes products + receive a free Reincarnation exfoliator or Grace facial cleanser while stocks last xx