About 2 1/2 years ago, I was hospitalized after a severe PTSD episode caused me to lose consciousness. This picture was taken by my girlfriend the day I was released. My arms were bruised from IVs and blood drawings, and there was residue left on my skin from the five heart monitors that had been adhered to my chest. I grew up paralyzingly self-conscious of my flat chest and pale, veiny skin, but seeing this photo of myself in such a vulnerable state helped me see the beauty in my own perceived “imperfections”. It has ultimately helped me in my ongoing journey towards recovery, both from PTSD and from disordered eating and body dysmorphia.
Despite the state of my skin and my inability to stop itching and picking at it, I’m feeling good tonight. Because I’m able to step back, recognize, and occupy my fingers with nail-painting instead.
My skin is so bad I want to flay it off and begin again. Why am I still suffering acne at 32? This is ridiculous. When I was younger I would find every cream/ lotion/ potion I had and apply them one after the other, chemically punishing my skin for being terrible.
I hate when people tell me to use [insert product blah blah] because they NEVER work and they’re usually expensive as fuck. Yes I’ve probably tried what you want to suggest.
I hate people with clear skin. No really.
Um can I get in on this skin frustration? Because, honestly - all of this, just a different condition.
Weather changes have made my seb derm flare up again and I CAN’T STOP PICKING AT IT. I even do it in my sleep. I wake up in the morning and loathe putting my head under the water in the shower because I know it’s going to sting something fierce. My entire scalp feels like one giant, flaking, festering scab. It creeps across my face from my temples, out from behind my ears. I’m running out of treatments that work.
I’d like a skin transplant. Or something.
This is my third post to Our Skin, and I’m thinking of it as a kind of closure on my self-consciousness about my body hair. I committed to uploading a photo of my re-grown arm hair in the previous post, and I planned to keep my word. I often still wish it wasn’t so dark (and the photo really doesn’t show that well), but at least it’s pretty soft! Since before March, I have completely stopped attempting to shave/pluck my navel area, butt, and arms and hands! When I think of the maintenance I’m still doing for the rest of my body hair, a lot of it seems unnecessary, but right now I’m okay with the balance—I’m content with the amount of hair I have and the amount of hair I put in a bit of effort to remove. Even when the stuff I normally remove grows out a bit (like when I stop shaving my legs for two weeks), I don’t really care much anymore! Visible stubble around my ankles peeking out from my jeans? Oh, well.
Another intention of this post is to address something that I struggled with until recently, and I’ve seen submissions here touching on the subject: Excess body hair and relationships/sex. So many people (and myself included, until recently) wonder how anyone could see them as attractive with their extra hair. Well, I found someone who thinks I’m beautiful and sexy, hair and all. In no way am I saying this to boast, or to say something silly like, “Well I got validation from a man so everything’s peachy now.” I’m sharing this to give you all hope that there are people out there who just don’t care—in the best way! My current partner doesn’t ignore my body hair—sometimes he seems curious about it, in a way. But always, he is accepting. He touches my treasure trail all the time. Strokes my hairy arms. Examines my hairy knuckles. And still thinks I’m attractive. At first I was mortified whenever he would touch my butt, but it’s his favorite part of my body! I never thought I would find this kind of person, and I sincerely hope the fact that I did gives the rest of you struggling with low self-esteem or body-image issues hope for yourselves!
Again, I have to express my appreciation for this blog for allowing me to share my journey, and helping so many others like myself. I wish the best for all of those involved here!
Those who truly love you should not care one bit about the amount of hair on your body.
You are wonderful.
I have a love/hate relationship with my body. There are moments where I feel so lovely and others where I can’t look in the mirror without crying. I feel so cheated, because I want to love every part of me but it sometimes feel so impossible with all the hate fat receives. But lately I have been affirming myself by saying that my body is cloaked in the lightening scars of my struggles, my growth, my success, my stretch marks. They really are so beautiful.