After reading this article during my morning news ritual at work (don’t judge, you know you do it too), I wanted to talk about something related. The truth gun this week is me telling you I have gotten regular Dermalogica facials for the past year. This is a ritual I afford myself mainly to take better care of my acne-prone skin, but also because I like them. So there. Most recently, and more extremely, I had my second “Bioactive” peel, which is a fancy word for controlled chemical burn on my face. My FACE. Willingly. This is my own form of preservation and prevention (shaking my fist at my love affair with the Sunset pool, Dahling…).
The article made a lot of sense. Not because I’m a huge Zellweger fan (I’m not), but because I’ve been seeing the insane hypocrisy of media and perception of appearance lately. It stresses me out. I see the extreme lighting every show is using now to make people look fresh and bright. I notice the stupid way everyone poses in pictures, despite how unnatural it looks when every single person in the picture is doing the same. It’s like one big collage of prom poses. Our brains are being tricked into believing one thing and not the other to look better, thinner, younger, less worse for wear. It’s exhausting; constantly comparing my wardrobe and body to something or someone who is just not real. But I do it. Every time I look at any site on the internet or my Instagram feed. It’s in our faces. Literally.
One second…let me take one step higher on my soapbox.
What I mean to say is yes, I’m super vain. I am aware every second of every day how I look, and I am my most hurtful critic. I’m walking around the office now, five days post-peel, and my skin is red, molting, and feeling ultra sensitive to even the special moisturizer I’m trying to slather on every hour. I’m hoping this all subsides in a few days and my skin will be better than ever. I’m ever the optimist…
Do I wonder what people are thinking when they see my irritated, dried out skin? Yes. I realize most people aren’t looking and would probably never notice. The ones that do make me immediately spill into an explanation – “hi, I just had a chemical peel, forgive my face”. Necessary? No. Does it add some validity to my madness? Maybe. Maybe sharing my insecurities will help someone else accept their own. I know I’m trying to accept myself every. goddamn. day.