In another life (10 years ago), I wanted to be an actress. I packed up my belongings and moved to LA to fulfill the “small town girl goes Hollywood” stereotype. I was 24 and full of hope and possibility. My skin, had a different plan.
I started breaking out when I was 14, so by this time, dealing with the insecurity had become part of who I was, but deciding to be an actress added a new kind of pressure. You only see flawless skinned beauties on TV and in movies, after all. I knew my acne would be a problem, but it wasn’t too awful, I told myself. I got pretty good at hiding blemishes with makeup, I could do ok.
Then a few months after moving to LA, my skin broke out more than ever, and none of my old tricks for controlling it seemed to help. Now I was devastated. I hated the way I looked, and so would every casting director. Surely my skin would prevent me from becoming the star I wanted to be. Somewhere in the back of my mind I decided maybe I wasn’t meant to be an actress.
In hindsight, I know this isn’t the case. I let the condition of my skin decide if I was good enough or not, because that was a whole lot easier than giving it my all, working hard, and trying my best. I chose the certainty of “knowing” my skin would prevent me from becoming an actress, over the scary uncertainty of trying and possibly failing. It was my skin’s fault, not mine… So I told myself.
If I had tried a bit harder to find evidence that having acne doesn’t mean you can’t be in entertainment, I would have found examples all around.
Let me ask you, is there something in your life that you think you cannot do, be or have because of your acne? I’m willing to bet there is. Maybe you don’t think you can go out and date, or ask for that promotion, or enjoy time at the beach. Maybe, like I did, you think you can’t be someone “big” because of your skin.
These amazing and talented women didn’t let acne stop them from doing what they wanted. So I want you to know, your skin isn’t keeping you from your life. It’s fear. It really is.
Maybe it’s fear of failure, or of success. Maybe it’s fear of judgment, or something else, but it’s not your acne. If these women can dare to do what they love, despite not looking perfect, so can you.
So here’s your Skin Therapy homework – you know all that energy you exert trying to fight your acne? Delegate a wee bit of that over to facing your fears. Watch the magic that happens.
Until next time.