It’s not because I’m ashamed of my skin although I used to be. Admittedly this was when my acne was at its worst and I would now, fortunately, only class my skin as acne prone. I say fortunately because I spent years dealing with a lot of both physical and mental hurt as a result of my skin and not because there’s anything wrong with having acne. I still get spots, I still break out but I’m no longer filled with that deep rooted desperation to clear my skin thinking it’s something that needs fixing or is fundamentally wrong because I’m in my mid-to-late twenties.
So if it isn’t shame stopping me from putting a face to the name of Forever Saving For A Rainy Day what is it?
One of my biggest bug bears is invalidation and people lacking the decency to respect another’s journey without knowing their full story. If I were to share a photo of my skin online now I’d forgive you for thinking I had no write to bang on as much as I do about the topic of acne because of how I look at the present. My jawline is no longer a pointillism picture of whiteheads and cysts which it was when I first took comfort in writing about my lengthy 5+ year journey online early on in 2020. The old saying goes that a picture sums up a thousand words but I feel that in this case it would do the opposite for me. A photo of my few spots, the odd bit of hyperpigmentation and some enlarged dark pores doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of what my skin and I have been through together. It wouldn’t summarise the past few years’ attempts to reach a better place with my face including trialling Zineryt, Duac, Adapalene, Microgynon, Lucette, Norethisterone, almost a year of the antibiotics Lymecycline and Oxytetracycline and those are just the “solutions” I tried that require a GP prescription. It wouldn’t cover the emotional rollercoaster, the tears wishing I looked like anything but myself in that moment and the slow, but sure, journey I’ve been on since starting this account which has helped me to accept my skin for exactly as it is. I am not “flawless” but I am real and no longer hiding behind the coverage of foundation to face the day. Understandably when my skin first broke out almost 7 years ago I didn’t take any form of progress pictures because at this point the sight of my reflection was often enough to reduce me to tears.
When I first started to write about my skin I was on a journey to clear it, turning to prescriptions for the second time in my twenties. I wasn’t as resilient as I am now when it comes to my skin. I was wary of unsolicited advice and negative responses. It wasn’t the idea of insults regarding my appearance that bothered me because I used to think so badly of my skin that I doubt anyone could have come up with something I hadn’t already thought of. It was being branded as attention seeking, this was a real fear of mine.
The idea of losing my anonymity and being discovered by someone I know was terrifying for me when I first created my accompanying Instagram account. Now I am really proud of Forever Saving For A Rainy Day’s little corner of the internet and the wonderful journey I’ve been on with it. Having FSFARD has had, and continues to have, a positive effect on my life. I feel like we’ve come a long way together. I didn’t know where it would take me when I first started writing. I definitely experienced some sort of Imposter Syndrome. It was only last month, after almost 18 months of consistently publishing content online I felt comfortable to change my Instagram bio to describe me as a blogger and I’ve been churning out content bi-weekly or more. I don’t care for the numbers, stats or insights, I care about the connections I’ve made with people who have responded to say they relate and understand because that always makes my day. It never occurred to me when I started putting my stories out there that brands would consider gifting me products. The first message I got about this left me unsure whether to cry happy tears or jump and and down with excitement, I quadruple-checked it wasn’t a scam as I couldn’t believe it was happening.
I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunities that have come my way because of putting my face-less self out there as FSARD. I haven’t ruled out the idea of revealing the face behind Forever Saving For A Rainy Day but for the time being, know that I’m not held back by shame of my appearance.
Sensitive Comments Welcome