BODY IMAGE | skin
i want to start this new thing - maybe a series, maybe just a few separate posts, don't know yet - about body image.
because, even though the body image issue is getting better and the society is slightly shifting away from the skinny, spotless skin ideal, it's still present. it still is a restriction to many, sadly admitting, including me.
but i want to get rid of that, i really do.
and i think going 'public', ie posting my opinions and thoughts, could help.
this is by no means a form of preaching, rather intrinsic insights and my own wishes how it should be.
* you might notice i talk from the girl-point-of-view. (what is that anyways? a bunch of gendered bullshit) that is because, in our society, females are forced to care more about their appearance then males. i'm not saying all of these remarks do not represent the issues the men are experiencing.
let's admit it, we live in a society (especially here in Europe) where pale white skin is seen as the most beautiful. the lighter, almost see-through-like, the better. that goes along the superskinny concept, but more about that later. the fun thing is, in summer we are brainwashed to get the perfect bronze skin, and we're even forced to use artificial methods to get the right skin tone. how ridiculous.
to be honest, i have always been putting myself under the pressure of having a pale skin pretty much. i have built this ideal image of me in my head, dark hair, pale skin, fragile body (oh god), and thought this would raise the level of my attractiveness. i have to say i still haven't entirely ditched this image in me, though i'm trying hard. when i'm trying to avoid tanning in summer, it's not only because my skin gets burnt easily, it's also because i want to keep my light skin light. isn't that bullshit? yes, it is. as much as when one of my friends often makes fun of my skin being a bit yellowish and me being angry about it. (sorry, you-know-who, i still love you nevertheless) why should someone point out anything about your skin tone? why should i care about it when a yellow skin is nothing bad? sometimes i want to slap myself real hard.
anyways, skin tone is the least thing you can influence. and why should you? isn't it fun to be unique? isn't it fun to see a society full of diverse people? don't suffer, don't blame yourself, don't try to modify yourself and your skin just because someone says this is the right way. fuck that. i'll try to work on that too. that's a promise.
female body hair is a very trending topic nowadays - which is both nice (yay for liberating women from the restrictive body image) and sad (why do we even need to discuss that?). so, in our society, we have this rule that women should be pretty much body-hairless to be beautiful and smooth and charming and men the complete opposite to be 'real men'. let me compare (based on a very gender-binary view): an average man shaves his beard, and maybe armpits. women are pretty much required to shave their legs and armpits. furthermore, they pluck their eyebrows, shave their vulvas, depilate hints of mustache, stress about nipple or stomach hair etc etc. tbh, i do all that too. i even shave my arms because i think my tattoos look nicer that way. even though i would never judge a girl for not shaving any part of her body, i do follow the society's restrictions pretty much. i would be willing to stop though, but if you suddenly stop after years of razor-shaving, it burns and scratches and itches as fuck. proven by my own experience when i stopped shaving my armpits. (read here) another thing i have to confess - i have always been patologically stressed about my hairy back and stomach. i personally don't care that much, but whenever i hear a remark about it, even in a nice way, i hate myself for a little while. i know it's stupid but i simply do.
but why do i / we do it? why should body hair be disgusting on females? why do i still spend money of non-eco-friendly razors when i don't find body hair unappealing? i don't know. that fucking society.
'the perfect skin'
this part is dedicated to Kaa, who published a beautiful article about her struggle with psoriasis. thumbs up for her. ♥
speaking of psoriasis, i also suffer from it. luckily, it's barely noticeable nowadays, you can only see tiny bits of dry, flaking skin on my elbows, which is nothing compared to what it used to be. i've been suffering from it since very early age; at one point, it was so bad my fingernail fell off. i don't know how come it subsided so much, but i haven't been under any psoriasis medication for at least 13 years.
i have also suffered from a reddish rash on my upper arms, it looked like a sun rash but it lasted the whole year and actually got better when exposed to sun. i went to a dermatologist because of it, he prescribed me a cream after which it also appeared on my legs. yay. the arms are pretty much okay now, you can even compare it here (April 2012) and here (July 2014); i don't know if that really is the reason, but it's much better since i went vegan.
now, let's get to the point of this part finally. as you can see, no skin is perfect. none of us can influence the condition of our skin; and why should we? i know that during high stress times, i tend to eat shit and (lately) smoke quite much, and that makes my skin go crazy. my face is full of pimples and i have awful circles under eyes. according to the society, i should be stressing about these and try to cover them as much as i can to fulfill the beauty ideal of smooth, one-coloured skin. sure i do the first; no one likes to have pimples, especially if they hurt. but i stopped caring about covering them because a) putting a thick layer of something full of chemicals doesn't really help the healing process, b) why the fuck should i? have you ever stopped talking to your friend because they had a new, pulsing pimple on their face? hell no. so, whatever.
pimples or acne are natural, and no one can do a thing about it. period.
stop complimenting people on the condition of their skin, stop putting yourself down by comparing your skin to others'.
stretch marks etc.
you see it everywhere. all beauty product commercials, magazine articles, 'healthy lifestyle' blogs are trying to feed us with the fact that stretch marks, cellulite and stuff like that is something bad we need to prevent / get rid of asap. on the contrary, it's the most natural thing. here you go, i'm (almost) 21 and i have cellulite on my bum, tiny stretch marks on my hips and 2 varicose veins atm. i am not 100% happy about that, but what should i do? should i exercise endlessly to get rid of them? should i hide my legs for the rest of my life? should i think i am less attractive because of that? sure not. fuck that. still, when thinking how many processes my body conducts every day, it's a very minor problem. i am (relatively) healthy, and i should be grateful to my body for that.
to sum up, skin condition is something no one can do anything about. each of us is born with certain skin problems, some with more of them, some with almost none, but one thing is common: you simply cannot influence if you have them or not. fuck that bullshit about healthy eating, healthy living, buying expensive cosmetics etc. why should someone restrict oneself because of some fucking beauty ideal? bullshit.
what's more important is to stop judging others because of their skin condition. F I N A L L Y.
and also, stop judging yourself.
you're still the same person on the inside, no matter how you look on the outside.
you'll have to live with yourself for the rest of your life, so you might as well get at peace with your own body.
and if someone judges, insults or abandons you because of certain 'problems' (which are not problems in fact) of your skin or body, well, fuck them. they weren't worth talking to anyways.
P.S: i know it's actually quite pathetic from me to write about skin issues when i personally don't suffer from that many and, let's face it, i profit from white privilege, therefore skin isn't such a big deal for me. still, i want to encourage every single person to get over their skin and other issues and just feel good about who they are. and that's what counts, doesn't it?