Learn­ing tol­er­ance

Writer Una La­marche fig­ured out how to ac­cept her skin for what it is. It only took her about 20 years.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Beauty -

As it does with most of its vic­tims, acne de­scended on me in my teens. I’ve re­pressed the ex­act year (most photos have been rit­u­ally burned), but it was the mid ’90s, when ev­ery morn­ing I would ap­ply this ghostly paint to my pim­ples, only to find that by the end of the day it had melted off – leav­ing me with a two-tone look.

When I got to univer­sity and fell in love with some­one, I let him see ev­ery­thing but my ac­tual face; I went to great lengths to wake up first, run to the bath­room and fill in my spots. Once, on a group camp­ing trip, I feigned ex­haus­tion, bur­rowed into my sleep­ing bag and missed out on hours of fun with my friends be­cause I didn’t have enough light to put on my com­plex­ion-per­fect­ing makeup.

It took me a long time to stop that non­sense. My skin even­tu­ally calmed down, which helped. But at 36, I still stash ben­zoyl per­ox­ide in what should be my ‘sexy’ drawer. And yes, of course, I lament the ado­les­cent oil sheen that spreads across my very grown-up T-zone. What I don’t do any­more is wake up first, run to the bath­room and try to con­ceal my pim­ples. I will al­ways long for a per­fect com­plex­ion, but I’m not will­ing to bat­tle my own re­flec­tion for­ever in pur­suit of per­fect skin.

Maybe I’m just lazy. Or maybe I’m flaunt­ing my white­heads in de­fi­ance of the pa­tri­archy like the com­bi­na­tion-skinned fem­i­nist I am! Mainly, though, I’m tired of hid­ing. I want to greet the day with my shiny fore­head and my blem­ished chin and say, proudly, “You know what? I woke up like this.”

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