When I was a little girl, I can remember getting ready with my mom in the morning. We would share the mirror as I brushed my teeth for school and my mom did her makeup for work. I remember how much foundation and concealer - things I didn’t know the names of at the time- she would press onto her face in an attempt to cover up all her dark marks and acne scars. I can remember how sometimes I would have to remind her several times that I’d be late for school if she didn’t hurry, because she always struggled to conceal the scars.
I can remember lying in bed with my mom at night. We often spent the hours leading up until my bedtime together like that, talking about how our day went. I can remember how she had a habit of picking at her face, constantly tearing away at acne scars. She seemed to do it the most at night, after she took her makeup off. “Doesn’t that make them worse?” I asked one night. I didn’t know much about dark marks at the time, but it was obvious hers weren’t going away. She paused for a moment before saying, “You’re right, I’m going to stop picking at my face.” She never did. My mom passed away in 2007; I was just eleven years old.
I told myself I never wanted to deal with that when I grew up. However, as I matured and I hit puberty, I immediately began to battle with acne. Now, at 19, my acne is no longer the issue and I've managed to tame it. The problem now is the scars. The same scars my mother, in her early 40’s, struggled with. I went from only wearing mascara and lip gloss, to having to apply a full face of makeup everyday just to feel somewhat comfortable when I step outside. These scars have taken a toll on my once clear skin and an even bigger toll on my self-esteem. I don’t want to have to hide the rest of my life the way I watched my mother do. I want to feel confident again. I’m ready for a change.
Now that I am in college, money is really tight. It’s just my father and I now, and he can’t do everything on his own. We both work two jobs, and I try to help out as much as possible. That sometimes means letting him borrow a little extra cash so he can purchase things for the house such as groceries. I love being able to help out whenever possible, however sometimes I wish I could buy things that I want. My dad does the best he can, and he even tries to spoil me sometimes, but whenever I mention buying something to treat my skin, he turns down the idea and tells me how beautiful I am and that some kids have it way worse. He is right, my skin could be worse, but I don’t feel as beautiful as he says.