My parents are dark, so if I was born with a fairer complexion, it would have triggered more suspicion than joy. Yet, I was ridiculed for not being fair. I remember a cousin of mine placing her hand next to mine and asking me to notice the difference. I just stared blankly while she roared with laughter. I did not feel bad for myself. I was wondering what was she laughing about. What was she seeing that I couldn't? Obviously there was a difference in the color of both our hands. But what is so great about it? Should I be concerned or depressed, I did not understand. I knew that she was trying to mock me. Some people feel good about themselves only when they put others down, so I let it be. I was about eight years old at that time. Twenty years later, that incident still remains fresh in my mind.
As a teenager, I had a terrible case of acne. I knew it was a passing phase, so I did not bother to do much about it. But the people around me never let me be. Everyone from aunties to neighbors came up with remedies for pimples. I remember a particular relative (not sure how we are related), who always used to ask me what I was doing for my damaged skin. She always asked this in front of a group of at least six people who stared into my face like I was a mutant with seven pairs of eyes. I was angry of course, but my parents had taught me to respect elders, so I kept quiet. I believe most of the growing up, mentally, happens during your teens. And with people like this around you, who make you feel like dirt, it is very hard to feel good about yourself. I did not take it too much to my heart. I decided to not turn into some one like her instead. Till date if I meet someone with zits on their face or anywhere else, I do not ridicule them or advise them. I just let them be.
I turn twenty eight in four months, yet I'm battling acne. Chicken Pox during my teens has left deep scars on my cheeks. And the rest of it is ruined with PCOS. Hormones are creating havoc within me and ruining my skin or whatever is left of it. You'd think that I would be depressed? Actually no. It does not matter to me at all. I'm going through some condition and the acne is because of that. I have accepted that and I know that someday it will all be gone. I can easily get all of it cleared up by going under the knife and almost instantly. I make more than enough money for that too. But I choose not too. I like flaws and scars. They remind me of my journey and my struggles. That keeps me grounded.
I discovered make-up in my early twenties. They helped me hide my scars and bumps. And the people who were ridiculing me before suddenly started appreciating me. Some even asked for tips. I wanted to laugh my ass off. That was my introduction to vanity. In parlors I see almost white people coming for bleaches, some coming for de-tanning, some coming for skin lightening, some coming for some magic facial that will make your skin squeaky clean. I do not do any of that. I am happy with my own flawed skin. All I need is some make-up that would give me necessary coverage and make me look good. To others. For me, I look awesome the way I am and I'm happy to carry these scars with me. The same people who advised me on anti-pimple tips, now comment wonderful things on my photographs. They think that I have turned beautiful magically, but the truth is something else altogether. And they, still remain fools.
I am a narcissist. Experiences have made me so. I know I have the confidence to walk out tomorrow exposing my zits and scars. But today, I am not prepared to answer the questions that would come my way. When I was young I had learnt to respect elders. I do not think so anymore. No one can demand respect just because of their age. Today I would not avoid the question or be quiet about it. I will speak out my mind and it would only cause rifts. Probably that's why I have made make-up my second skin. A little concealer and powder and I feel sorted. And some kajal and I'm ready to roar. There are also those sets of people who mock others who use make-up to look and feel good. Of course not everyone is blessed enough to have wonderful blemish free skin. If you are blessed then well, good for you. Else, let the others do what they want to do.
I choose make-up over a surgery because that is what I want to do. I want to be reminded of my flaws every day when the make-up comes off. I do not want to turn into a vain person or believe that beauty rules the world. I have had handsome men fall madly in love with me irrespective of my skin troubles. Not everyone finds a girl who embraces her flaws. They liked that. My husband today loves me the way I am and understands my issues. People might make fun of me for wearing make-up everyday. I do not care. I shall do what I want to do. Because I know my problems and I also know that they will not understand it. I do not hide my flaws because I am insecure about myself or it affects my self esteem. The person I am resides inside of me and it has nothing to do with my skin or the make-up. I hide them to shut the mouths of other people. Earlier, I was naive enough to be mocked and ridiculed. Today I'd rather not give a chance for any of it.
You can think that I'm being a hypocrite here, you are free to think so.