Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Turning the Ugly into the Beautiful {Confessions from a Girl Who Has Been Hiding}

Why do people feel the need to point out others physical flaws?

What is it about imperfections that are visible that makes complete strangers think they have the right to comment on it?

Is it because I have made no effort to hide my flaws that they think I just don’t care, therefore feel the urgent need to make sure I realize just how marked I am?

Today for what has been the billionth time in my life, someone pointed out to me I have acne & bluntly stated that I should do something about it, so that I could be pretty.

Like I somehow just missed seeing those horrid red spots every single time I looked in the mirror.

Like I haven’t tried dozens of supposed “cures” to try to get rid of it.

Like I haven’t suffered enough due to this “defect” for the past 10 years.

Do they not understand that these unfeeling remarks cause unrepairable damage?

Have they never been treated in such a manner, or have they simply forgotten what it is like to be in my shoes?

And why does our society distinctly tell women that if they have acne, or any facial discoloring, that they are not beautiful?

Since when did it become okay to judge a woman based on whether she has pimples or not?

Sometimes I thought to myself it was time to stop holding the emotional pain in.
That it was time to just let it all out.

Then I would look around, searching for someone who understands what I have not only gone through, but am continually going through every single day, only to come up empty handed.

And I would become afraid.

Afraid to let my vulnerability show.
Afraid to show my weakness.
Afraid people will think I am just begging for compliments or seeking attention.
Afraid that I would make a fool of myself.

So I did the easiest thing.
The thing I have been doing for years & have become so incredibly talented at.

I hid. 

{Photo Found Via Google}

I hid from everything & everyone.

Not physically, of course, but emotionally & mentally, yes.

If I could hide physically, I would.
I would say 98% of the time, I don’t want to leave my house or let anyone see my face because I am ashamed of the acne…ashamed that I can’t hide it…ashamed that it isn’t going away…even though it is beyond my control.

At night, I sometimes cry myself to sleep, because I am just so tired of trying to appear strong & confident.
I am so tired of acting like it doesn’t bother me.
I am so tired of being nice & polite to people who comment on it.
I am tired of hearing people say, “Don’t worry! No one notices it anyways!” when they always have clear skin themselves.
I am so tired of feeling like I am the only one who has this problem, or this severe case of it, anyways.

I hate mirrors. I hate photographs of myself. I hate anything where I even catch a glimpse of myself.

Of course, I am sure you never knew that…did you?

{Photo Found Via Google}

See? This hiding thing is so easy for me.

For years I have been building up this emotional wall, to attempt to keep the casually spoken, but excessively damaging, words at bay; to keep them from hurting me more than they already have.

My wall is so high, that now when people compliment me or say I am pretty, I pass those comments off as “fake” or “just being nice” or, “They are only saying that cause they are my friend/family member…they HAVE to say it.”

I have even let this wall be built so far east & west that when someone tells me one day Someone Special will fall in love with me, and love my flaws because they make me ME, I laugh in utter disbelief because despite my overactive & vivid imagination, even I can’t imagine someone not minding my physical scars.

I am sure none of you knew this. How could you?
I am a brilliant actor.
{Photo Found Via Google}

I don’t like to blame my problems on anyone else. At one time in my life, I would have tried to so, but I realized that it really was no one’s fault but my own.

Yet I feel the desperate need for someone to stand up and shout out these questions… to bring to attention that words so flippantly spoken do such lasting damage.

I may have been bothered by my acne, but it was the careless words of others that caused me to draw back into my shell, and to look so critically at my appearances.

So I am reaching out now, to try to grab the attention of actions I can only say are unacknowledged forms of abuse.


Besides, just because it wouldn’t bother you if someone made a similar remark to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother someone else!

However, as I stated a few moments ago, I am not going to blame my messed up life on others, because I can control my response to their loose tongues & critical minds.

I could have let it go in one ear and out the other, despite that being so hard to do.
I could have ignored the comments, held my head high, and acted like they didn’t even exist.
I could do so now.

If only the damage hadn’t already been done.
If only…
If only…
If only…

Now, at age 21, I am determined to once again attempt to draw that hidden part of my soul out from its shell and allow the world to see a side of me that for 10 years has been invisible.

{Photo Found Via Google}

I am determined to overcome the anxiety and depression my acne has caused me, and confidently step forward, knowing that despite my flaws, God has called me beautiful in His sight.

I want to take this flawed face of mine, and prove to the world that a woman can have an imperfect complexion, and still radiate true beauty.

I want to show the people who have informed me I would never be attractive that I don’t need to “get rid of it” in order to be “acceptable”.

But mostly, I want to walk away from the pain… I want to let go of the tear-filled nights… I want to walk away from the terror that overcomes me when I have to look in a mirror, or when I share a photo of myself, or anytime someone other than my Mom & my pet mice J have to see me…
The anguish…the stress…the mental breakdowns…
I want to leave that all behind and truly become a woman who is strong, and confident in herself and what she can do with God behind her. 

{Photo Found Via Google}

It will be a long, slow, painful progress.

Honestly, I don’t know if I will ever be able to completely accept myself and my flaws.
There may always be niggling thoughts at the back of my mind; pesky worries.

I just don’t want to let them stop me or hold me back any longer.

I know many days it will feel like I have taken one step forward, only to take 100 back.

All I am determining to do is to keep on trying to take steps forward.

Step 1 is to write this out. And then share it.

They say the first step to solving a problem is by first admitting you have a problem.
So I am admitting to having a major problem!

And all I am asking of you is that you do the same.

Please be real. Please don’t hide. Please don’t do what I have been doing for half of my life. Please come out from behind your walls and let the world see the REAL you. It’s who I want to see! I am tired of seeing the “fake” you… the “everything’s fine” you… the “Oh, no, I don’t have that problem” you…

Join me, as I begin this new chapter of my life…

{Photo Found Via Google}


  1. Bekah Sue... my heart BROKE for you as I read this post. :( :( :( :( :( I literally sat in McDonalds and CRIED. How DARE RANDOM STRANGERS point out to you what THEY SEE as physical flaws, when A) THAT IS SIMPLY PLAIN RUDE and B) they have NO IDEA what they're missing in your HEART!!!!!!!!! (and personality for that matter LOL!)
    I promise you that although we are physically miles apart, we always seem to be walking through the same things emotionally/spiritually and are just afraid to admit it.
    I just recently had a very similar experience of realizing this type of thing (not with acne, but other things I've been criticized for either when I was small, or all my life!) and realized, if I'm not "that certain type of person"--- *GASP*--- THAT'S OKAY! God made me who He WANTED me to be and I shouldn't try to change who I am just because other people criticize it and make me feel inadequate!
    By God's grace I should TOTALLY join you on this "journey"!
    Bekah, this post spoke to MY heart<3<3 and by the grace of God, it will move others!
    and YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.<3
    "I know many days it will feel like I have taken one step forward, only to take 100 back." :) :) :) I'm sure you know what that line made me think of :)

  2. I know how you feel about not being able to get rid of acne :P My face has finally cleared up in the past few years (I'm 27 now), but there were times that my cheeks were literally raw because they were so broke out and I wondered what my face would actually look like without acne.

    And yes, I had strangers tell me how I could help clear my skin, as well as when I was little, a younger friend of mine said, "Do you know you have zits on your face?" Thankfully it struck me as more funny than hurtful...I laughed to myself, "No! You don't say?! I never look in a mirror!" :D

    You are right to let go and not let it define you :) When people learn who you *really* are on the inside, the outside doesn't matter to them :) :) :) What we focus on, they focus on :)

    And amen and amen to being real and not trying to act like we have it all together :) I think we all struggle with that one :P


  3. Bekah, you are beautiful. I mean that completely honestly. If I didn't mean it I wouldn't say it. But I honestly think you are beautiful. I know how it feels to have people try to be 'helpful' by telling you how you could 'fix' some physical flaw, I know how much it hurts, even though they probably don't mean to. I can't say I know what you're going through, but since I was 10 I've had bad acne, I occasionally have good days, but it never goes away. I've never met you in real life, I hope I get the chance to someday, but when I look at a picture of you I don't see acne, I see a beautiful smile and gorgeous eyes, but I don't see any acne.
    “Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, they can only see how beautiful everyone else is. But everyone else can. People are kinda like that as well.”

  4. Dear Beks <3 I love you just the way you are....the inside is what truly matters (isn't that a comfort in a world that emphasizes and competes with outward beauty!). Yes, I know this trial is difficult to deal with - but remember, you are loved beyond your wildest imagination by Jesus Himself, and me, too. Love you! "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

  5. I have no words for this, only tears. Tears of understanding and shared pain. Ok so I do have two words: Thank you! I needed this.

  6. i know exactly what you're feeling. I've had acne since I was about twelve, and while it's gotten a little better in the last year, I still struggle with it a lot. It's hard to look in the mirror every single morning and see "flaws," and then having well-meaning friends mention it just hurts even more. People don't realize how much one little comment can hurt, no matter how well intentioned. I guess it's a good reminder to be careful of the things we say. :)

    several mornings ago I was sitting in our living room, having just gotten out of bed, and I was trying to wake up. (I'm not a morning person at all, so it usually takes either a long time to wake up, or a couple cups of coffee. :) So my hair was a mess, I had no make up on, (I don't wear a ton of makeup, but enough to make a big difference. :) I was in pajamas and pretty much just zoning on the couch for a few minutes. Then my seven year old brother, Luke, walked up and spent a minute staring at my face, and then announced, "Becca, you have the chicken-pox..." and then he walked away, leaving me sitting there unsure of whether I should laugh or feel really depressed. I was able to laugh after a little while, because leave it to kids to be brutally honest about something like that! :)

    anyway, I guess this is rather rambley, but I just wanted to tell you that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT!!! Never ever forget that, girlie!!! You are an amazing person, and one of the sweetest people on the planet! Acne doesn't define who you are as a person, and it does go away eventually!!

    Love you!!!!!

  7. Omigoodness, doll. It's like I'm reading a part of my diary. I can relate to you 1000%. I have the same problem (cystic - it's just the worst) and have had it for almost 6 years (has it really already been that long?!). I've tried everything, I've cried too many times, I've hid, I've hated being in photos (I'm ashamed to admit it but I use Photoshop too much on my face because I can), and there's NEVER a day that I don't look in the mirror and pretend it all away. There's never a day where I don't see someone else's clear face (it's funny how I never noticed people's skin until I hated mine) and stare in envy, and there's never a day when I don't have to tell myself, "Buck up. Forget it's even there." And eventually I do. That's not to say I don't carry my makeup with me like it's the air that I breathe, but each day it gets easier and even if this sounds bad, I've come to accept that, as of right now and maybe the next 10 years or so, this is what I've been dealt with. It's not easy, but it's ME. But then of course there are those horrible days when every thought and action are surrounded by my zits and hugs are in high demand (mostly from Rusty :))

    But just know this, you ARE beautiful. And even though we get sick of people telling us no one notices (we know they do), I like to believe it because it makes my days easier. The world is too lovely to be worried about what others think. But I feel your pain - omigoodness, do I feel your pain. Sending you HUGE hugs from MN and your kindred spirit. :) Please don't hide anymore - you are too wonderful. :)