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I was in 5th grade, reaching my awkward stage of life. Looking in the mirror I saw a tall, blonde haired, tan skinned girl with buckteeth and bright, wild eyes. Then one day I noticed a HUGE red bump on my chin. I had no idea what to do about it so I went to school and told everyone a bee had stung me. Ridiculous story? Absolutely. That was the first I remember being affected by the dark cloud called acne that would follow me to this day, almost 16 years later.
Being the oldest child, I was the first to deal with many of life’s experiences including suffering with acne at such a young age. Looking back now, I can laugh at some of the extremes I went to ensuring my acne was covered, or coming up with a story that would explain away the mountains that would appear on my face overnight. I honestly don’t remember seeing many kids my age that had acne, which made it all the more embarrassing to be the girl that everyone stared at.
I would visit my dad on the weekends, and in a household where makeup was not exactly deemed “appropriate for a girl my age”, covering my terrible acne breakouts was on my mind constantly. One memory in particular stands out. I was in 8th grade and in the youth group at the church we went to. I had a massive Volkswagen parked right on my chin and I had forgotten my foundation that I would sneak from my moms. The only thing I had was a cheap eye shadow quad with all shimmery colors. In a desperate attempt to cover up all of my acne along with the massive pimple on my chin, I tucked the eye shadow into my pocket along with a Band-Aid. As soon as my dad dropped me off at the church, I ran into the bathroom and smothered a shimmery pearl white eyeshadow all over my face, because the blues and pinks would have just been too obvious of course. Next I took the Band-Aid and put it right over the pimple on my chin. Perfect! That is what I remember thinking as I was walking to the youth group room. Sitting amongst all the clear-faced, bright-eyed kids, my story about getting into a crazy bicycle accident and scraping my chin all up would definitely have them fooled.
Once youth group was over I met my dad and the rest of my family for the church service. Band-Aid in the trash, and all the kids my age not seeing the Mount Everest size pimple on my chin, I thought life was pretty good. There was a point in the service every Sunday where we would greet the people sitting around us. I went to turn around to say hello, and there was the cutest boy from youth group staring at my chin. All he said was, “It doesn’t look that bad for a bike accident.” My cover was blown, and I had to explain that comment to my dad. I was mortified. Let’s not forget the fact my face looked like a giant Mother of Pearl.