Love the skin you live in!
Having spent a few days basking in the glow of the Wanderlust festival with the fab folks from Peppermint Mag I decided to be brave and join in their Project Dear Body. In this project Peppermint Magazine ask us to really look at ourselves and love who we are. Despite my severe allergy to cameras I can actually say I love who I am. I think that my self-love is a product of the values that my parents instilled in me. However, I can’t say that my self love hasn’t been without it’s ups and downs. While I’ve always had a healthy relationship with my body, exercise, and food, my skin is a whole other story. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I have spent my 30+ years dealing with Rosacea. If you aren’t skin-condition-savvy Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that affects the face and results in a ‘blush’ of red and pink patches and broken capillaries, and for some (fortunately not me) acne like bumps. I also live with Keratosis Pilaris, a condition that causes ‘chicken skin’ bumps, mine occur on my upper arms and my cheeks (and have been SO much better since I quit dairy). When I was in school my ability to flush beetroot red was an endless source of fascination and great fuel for bullying for many of my peers and it didn’t help that I was painfully shy either. Physical exercise and heat makes it worse so my folks would let me stay home when I didn’t feel like going to sports days and being the beetroot-red school mascot. At age 13 I read somewhere (probably Dolly Magazine) that exfoliation could ‘cure’ keratosis pilaris and exfoliated my upper arms until they bled. It didn’t fix them. I’ve since learned what my skin does and doesn’t like and with each year we get happier and healthier. As we slide into the skin baring months I’ve decided to ‘bare-all’ (arm and face wise anyways) here to celebrate the upcoming body-themed Peppermint Mag issue. The team are asking us to photograph and celebrate our bodies and as a result I’ve written a letter to my skin.
Thank you for keeping my insides inside.
As my bodies largest organ I appreciate all that you do to keep my insides on the inside, protected from germs and atmospheric changes or stuff just generally flopping around all over the floor in an organ-and-muscle house party. You have worked tirelessly and somewhat flawlessly (save a few bumps and scratches and that time Dolly mag suggested I rub at you until you bled) for 32 years and for that I am truly grateful. I hope that you forgive me for the times I accidentally got you burnt. They were not fun for either of us. On your behalf I send a huge hug to Jess, a girl in our year seven class who suggested that sunscreen is a good way to cure Rosacea. While I don’t think it actually did anything for our flushing issues, her comment did result in us slip-slop-slapping for a solid nineteen years now which should hopefully keep us skin cancer and wrinkle free (fingers and toes crossed). I also want to thank my parents for you because they fed us fresh and healthy produce and good values ,and my Mum and Nan who sorted out the wash-tone-and-moisturise routine early on.
I’m sorry for all the times I cursed you. It’s not your fault that you go red and/or bumpy. I’m also sorry for the times that I let the opinions of others affect my relationship with you. It’s not our fault that people don’t understand that flushing doesn’t always mean being shy and demure, or that being bright red after mild exercise isn’t a sign of fitness or exertion levels. As much as I want to I also promise to you- dear skin- that I will resist the urge to say ‘Hey you’re really fat/skinny/lumpy/mean’ to those people who think it’s ok to say ‘Hey you’re really red’ to us at the gym. An eye for a eye leaves the whole world blind.
One can do without an arm, leg, or a kidney, but without you I could not exist. I promise to celebrate you by taking you on adventures every day, continuing to protect you from the sun, worshipping you with delicious (food grade) potions, lotions and oils, and to love the way you change with experience and time.
Thank you skin for being the thing I live in.
Want to be a part of the celebration of self? Head on over to Peppermint Mag and follow the prompts to get involved. Stop with the negative self talk and celebrate your awesomeness in the lead up to summer. No matter how bad you might think a part of you looks your soul shines through and balances it all out. Don’t believe me? Head over to StyleLikeU and check out their videos. I guarantee three videos in you will stop worrying about that spot on your face or the scar on your belly. Beauty is more than what’s on the outside.
Ps. If you are waiting on a Wanderlust wrap up the next two posts will be all about yoga and the lovely labels I came across at the festival.
What do you love about yourself? Share it with us here or just head outside and shout about it in the local park.