Well, like many people, my acne has given me a lot of really negative feelings and gives a big hit to my self confidence. A year ago I would keep my head down and look at the floor whilst I was walking, careful not to make eye contact with anyone. I've attached a photo of what my skin looked like at the time.
There was a lad I knew through some friends. We'd never hung out socially, though had spoken a few times over facebook. One day he contacted me asking me if I would do some modelling for him, as he is a photographer and works in a printing shop where he gets free studio use, and wanted to get some practice in. My first thought was "uhhhh...NO LOL." but something made me agree to it before it was too late. I don't know how I ever got the courage - to go and sit for photos with someone I barely knew?!
Well, afterwards, he processed some of the images and sent them to me. I was absolutely shocked - I looked good! It gave me a massive confidence boost. I did a photoshoot with him again, with even better results. I then ventured out into doing photoshoots with strangers - which was extremely nerve-wracking. Even now, I still get scared that I'll turn up, and be asked to leave! But no-one's ever commented on it.
So modelling became a bit of a hobby for me. I know, I never thought that would be my hobby. I work full-time in IT and like to stick my head under a duvet where possible lol. Being in the spotlight is never something I've desired or craved.
I started doing shoots whenever I had a spare moment. It made me happy. I was meeting new people, getting involved in something arty and fun - and getting images where I thought "you know...I'm not so bad." Some photographers even didn't bother airbrushing my skin - when I asked them why, they said "well, it doesn't make the image unattractive, it didn't seem worthwhile." Now that is a confidence boost (and I hope that comment will help some of you as well!)
The scariest thing I think, was working with makeup artists. Having some that close to your face for over an hour at a time can be very uncomfortable! However, it does mean you spend some time talking with them. I've discovered that acne among those 'perfect' models you see is extremely common as they tend to have terrible diets.
The whole thing has made me feel a lot more normal, and my confidence is shining through. I continue to struggle with my acne on a day-to-day basis, but having a positive attitude about it seems to have helped me get better - I guess because I don't feel depressed whenever I think about my skin, I can consider more options without feeling rushed...I don't know. All I know is it's A LOT better than in the attached image.
I'm still doing the modelling today (I hope it's okay for me to post a link? I mainly want to demonstrate that what the makeup artists say is true - seemingly 'flawless' models aren't what they're cracked up to be http://www.facebook....indabuzzModelUk)
Oh, the guy who got me into it in the first place is now my best friend and my housemate Another great thing to come of it. Of course, this does mean he's brutally honest with me when he's editing photos lol. But he does also say things like "Your spots are nothing like they were a year ago, look at this unedited image zoomed in - you can hardly see them." Which is a good confidence boost too
I'm hoping this post will help other people realise that acne doesn't have to stop you from doing ANYTHING. If I could be asked to model when my skin was that bad, you can achieve what you want too. Pleaaase don't do what I was doing and living a restricted life because of it - push your boundaries, do things you think you mustn't/cannot do because of acne, live a life and grow your confidence. Don't let it become your main focus in life.
Has anyone got inspiring stories to share? Have you done something that's changed the way you view your acne?