Just kidding—I’m still learning this myself.
The thing is, it’s excruciatingly difficult to love your own body and be comfortable in your own skin when you’re constantly fighting the urge to scratch it off. When the sandpaper that hugs your lips imprisons a smile that no one will see. When those patches of rough damaged skin just sit and weep with you.
When it comes to my eczema, I am definitely thin-skinned (pun entirely intended). For years, I’ve acted like I don’t care and that it’s just something I have to deal with through countless creams and a gazillion skincare routines. But that’s all a pretence. The truth of the matter is that it’s on my mind every single day. It’s not a nice feeling thinking you have hands that are too dry for a man to hold or lips that are too parched for him to kiss. And it’s not like you can hide under a blanket of makeup or wear a turtleneck 24/7, right?
When you’re “comfortable,” you feel at home. At home, there’s a routine, there’s a sense of charming predictability. When you feel at ease with someone, safe in their company, that feeling arises out of a sense of trust—trust that they’ll be there, that they’ll commit to the friendship or relationship and do so consistently.
How do you feel comfortable with something so unpredictable? How do you accept a blindingly red breakout one day and stubborn snakeskin the next? There’s no safety in this type of skin. There’s no trust that it won’t erupt on a date or peel off during an interview. However consistent you are with the skincare routine, however committed you are to the cleansers and toners and masks and moisturisers, it’s not an equal relationship. You can eliminate all the dairy from your diet and drink all the water in the world and your efforts still won’t be returned.
So how do you feel comfortable in your own skin when it doesn’t show you any gratitude? How do you love your own body when it doesn’t love you back?
I think, for me, I’ve come to the point where I’ve accepted my discomfort. I’ve accepted that being comfortable in my own skin is not a concept I’ve got to grips with yet. And that’s okay. If, like me, you’re not quite there yet, not yet fully compliant with the “#selflove” trend, maybe just accept that part of you.
Maybe just learn to be comfortable not being comfortable.
And just in case you forgot this today: You’re still a beautiful person. You’re still caring, and responsible, and a cool person to be around. You’re still the kind, funny, and humble kid you always have been. With your skin. Not in spite of it.