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Tyga

Looks Matter To People

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Stop it. Looks matter to people. The standard advice is that looks are not important, and it is your personality that outshines your physical flaws. If that were true, then people would not be on this website looking for clear skin. If the majority of us had that mindset, we would not be desperately searching for a cure to acne.

If you were to see a person with acne, you would find it disgusting. You would find it hard to look away. Because we have acne, we immediately connect and sympathize with that person. I know a girl with acne in my class. I think she is pretty, but would I have thought so if I did not have acne myself? Probably not because acne is fucking gross. I have a different perspective, and I understand that her acne could be a temporary condition, and from talking to her a few times I know she is a great person.

If I had clear skin I would not look in her direction twice. Maybe I'd catch myself staring at her acne because I find it repulsive. I know it is a cruel thought, but I cannot deny the thought. I can only control the decision to share that thought, and I know she would find it devastating.

If that is what clear skin people think of others with acne then I don't want to be alive. Furthermore, if this is what strangers think when they encounter a person with a deformity such as vitiligo, small pox, lupus or elephant man syndrome, then I don't want to be a part of this planet anymore. Having the knowledge that people can be this cruel severely bruises my ego. To understand how easily people can make a judgment on a complete stranger is discouraging. Every single one of us has a fascinating story about how we came to be who we are today, but nobody can listen because they are distracted by a skin condition. Each day I discover another clue that reminds me that this world is shit.

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Never presume to speak for me or for the other wonderful people on this board. I understand that you are frustrated and angry about your condition but that doesn't give you the right to say that we all have your mindset and shallow view of the world.

You say you don't want to be judged, you don't want to be in a world where people are cruel, but you are judging others and being cruel.

Be a part of the world you want to see instead of the one you think you see. Be the person you wish would look at you instead of the one who sees the shell of others.

It's sad to see this kind of post in a place that's supposed to offer emotional support. You should be better. You can be better. Try.

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I think it would even be too idealistic to hope that people could simply limit their value judgements to rare deformities, such as elephant man syndrome or small pox. I mean, obesity, poverty, baldness, mental illness, down syndrome, sexuality, just common conditions and lifestyle choices bear the brunt of ridicule and contempt every day. It is disheartening, it is wrong, and it is the world we live in. But it is not in everyone.

I have had clear skin most of my life and I am not disgusted by acne. I am sometimes shocked by its severity, pained for the people who would be soooo freed up without it, reminded that my own skin problems could be so much worse, but I don't recoil from it in horror or revulsion. It isn't that exteriors don't matter- they do to one degree or another (I mean, we have preferences and those are influenced by a number of factors- some that we aren't even consciously aware of), but I think that the right people are able to chuck their one dimensional notions about beauty once they find someone worth loving.

Edited by luckycat
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Not all people with clear skin are automatically superficial assholes. Hell, even back when I had clear skin and was shallow as fuck, I still never looked at people with acne and thought "ew, gross, I don't want to go near you/what if I ~catch~ something." Half the time I didn't even notice because I was too stuck in my own world (if the acne was mild/moderate), and the other half (if the acne was severe) I just felt sorry for the other person (admittedly in a sneering sort of way sometimes, but that was really the extent of it). I mean, I was talking about acne with my friend from high school the other day, and she mentioned how she'd had acne back in high school. I didn't remember this at all, so I asked her if she'd had the acne before I transferred in to that school, and she gave me the oddest look, like are you kidding me? So yeah, I'm proof that sometimes people just really do not care, and back in high school I was one of those awful girls who sat around the cafeteria at lunch making fun of "ugly" people with her friends (yes this friend in question had acne, but I'm guessing it was mild/moderate and she was, and still remains, otherwise very attractive).

I'm just going to be as frank as possible here. I think there's a lot of truth to what you're saying, unfortunately, which is why I'm also having such a hard time dealing with this whole acne thing - I had near-perfect skin until two months ago when I developed severe cystic acne all over my goddamned face. Do I think people are going to look down on us simply because we have acne? Of course. That's the hard part. Yes you can try to find the people who won't treat you differently just because you have a skin condition that makes you significantly less attractive, but even then it's pretty hard to imagine people - shallow or "deep" - being so able to look past your acne in such an image-obsessed society, especially when it comes to romantic/sexual connections. But what else can you do? You have to live your life one way or another and giving in to other people's negative perceptions of things you really can't help, that's not really going to make things better for you, either.

So people have mean thoughts about you from time to time. To be honest, it sounds like your thoughts are just as mean as theirs are, so I don't understand why you'd be so upset at other people/"the world" for feeling the same way you would. Others might disagree, but I maintain that you probably can't really change most people's thinking unless you're some technological genius like Steve Jobs or some brilliant scientist like Steve Hawking or whatever; at best, you can influence the people around you, and even that can be pretty hard sometimes. It would therefore be a much better use of your time if you just focused on improving yourself.

And no, acne is not fair. The world is not fair. Everything is a shit deal sometimes but that's just life. I know a lot of people took offense at the last post I made on this topic, but I really believe from the bottom of my heart that people have to learn how to deal with living at the bottom of the social ladder (a place that acne so often, though of course not always, relegates them to) as well as at the top, because fortune is a fickle thing (and besides, there are far, far worse problems). You (general you, not necessarily you specifically) have to learn how to survive in foul as well as fair weather and adapt yourself to as many environments as possible. Cultivating resilience, IMO, is never a bad thing.

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Never presume to speak for me or for the other wonderful people on this board. I understand that you are frustrated and angry about your condition but that doesn't give you the right to say that we all have your mindset and shallow view of the world.

You say you don't want to be judged, you don't want to be in a world where people are cruel, but you are judging others and being cruel.

Be a part of the world you want to see instead of the one you think you see. Be the person you wish would look at you instead of the one who sees the shell of others.

It's sad to see this kind of post in a place that's supposed to offer emotional support. You should be better. You can be better. Try.

k

I think it would even be too idealistic to hope that people could simply limit their value judgements to rare deformities, such as elephant man syndrome or small pox. I mean, obesity, poverty, baldness, mental illness, down syndrome, sexuality, just common conditions and lifestyle choices bear the brunt of ridicule and contempt every day. It is disheartening, it is wrong, and it is the world we live in. But it is not in everyone.

I have had clear skin most of my life and I am not disgusted by acne. I am sometimes shocked by its severity, pained for the people who would be soooo freed up without it, reminded that my own skin problems could be so much worse, but I don't recoil from it in horror or revulsion. It isn't that exteriors don't matter- they do to one degree or another (I mean, we have preferences and those are influenced by a number of factors- some that we aren't even consciously aware of), but I think that the right people are able to chuck their one dimensional notions about beauty once they find someone worth loving.

You are not? Then would you please explain how you felt the morning you discovered your first breakout? At fourteen I battled my first significant breakout. It was severe and unpleasant to look at. My first thoughts were how to rid myself of this horrid disease. I couldn't look in a mirror because of how severe my breakouts were, and I'd be lying to myself if I believed people did not have the exact same reaction I did upon seeing my reflection.

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Not all people with clear skin are automatically superficial assholes. Hell, even back when I had clear skin and was shallow as fuck, I still never looked at people with acne and thought "ew, gross, I don't want to go near you/what if I ~catch~ something." Half the time I didn't even notice because I was too stuck in my own world (if the acne was mild/moderate), and the other half (if the acne was severe) I just felt sorry for the other person (admittedly in a sneering sort of way sometimes, but that was really the extent of it). I mean, I was talking about acne with my friend from high school the other day, and she mentioned how she'd had acne back in high school. I didn't remember this at all, so I asked her if she'd had the acne before I transferred in to that school, and she gave me the oddest look, like are you kidding me? So yeah, I'm proof that sometimes people just really do not care, and back in high school I was one of those awful girls who sat around the cafeteria at lunch making fun of "ugly" people with her friends (yes this friend in question had acne, but I'm guessing it was mild/moderate and she was, and still remains, otherwise very attractive).

I'm just going to be as frank as possible here. I think there's a lot of truth to what you're saying, unfortunately, which is why I'm also having such a hard time dealing with this whole acne thing - I had near-perfect skin until two months ago when I developed severe cystic acne all over my goddamned face. Do I think people are going to look down on us simply because we have acne? Of course. That's the hard part. Yes you can try to find the people who won't treat you differently just because you have a skin condition that makes you significantly less attractive, but even then it's pretty hard to imagine people - shallow or "deep" - being so able to look past your acne in such an image-obsessed society, especially when it comes to romantic/sexual connections. But what else can you do? You have to live your life one way or another and giving in to other people's negative perceptions of things you really can't help, that's not really going to make things better for you, either.

So people have mean thoughts about you from time to time. To be honest, it sounds like your thoughts are just as mean as theirs are, so I don't understand why you'd be so upset at other people/"the world" for feeling the same way you would. Others might disagree, but I maintain that you probably can't really change most people's thinking unless you're some technological genius like Steve Jobs or some brilliant scientist like Steve Hawking or whatever; at best, you can influence the people around you, and even that can be pretty hard sometimes. It would therefore be a much better use of your time if you just focused on improving yourself.

And no, acne is not fair. The world is not fair. Everything is a shit deal sometimes but that's just life. I know a lot of people took offense at the last post I made on this topic, but I really believe from the bottom of my heart that people have to learn how to deal with living at the bottom of the social ladder (a place that acne so often, though of course not always, relegates them to) as well as at the top, because fortune is a fickle thing (and besides, there are far, far worse problems). You (general you, not necessarily you specifically) have to learn how to survive in foul as well as fair weather and adapt yourself to as many environments as possible. Cultivating resilience, IMO, is never a bad thing.

I was honest enough to share my thoughts. I don't like that I have these thoughts about other people. I certainly don't judge anyone for any type of condition or disease they are suffering with, but I also cannot stop myself from having the thoughts. I am confused about improving myself. How would I do that? I already eat right and exercise to maintain a positive self-image. Doesn't matter because I will never be satisfied with my appearance. You are right that our choices are limited and we are forced to make due with what is given to us.

Well, I don't accept that it is just life. What a shitty concept, and whomever created this should probably consider upgrading because this version sucks ass. Everyone treats life as a beautiful gift, but I am having trouble understanding what is so great about it. I learned quickly that the world is not a fair place, and reality is cold.

I don't know where my original post came from. I guess I was just pretty damn frustrated with a lot of shit, and I can't exactly post this on facebook if I wish to continue having a social life.

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Actually, no. I can't remember exactly how I felt when I had my first breakout. I think I thought something like, "Oh shit. This sucks. Someone better buy me some Clearasil."

I had something really painful occur a couple of years ago that made me feel disgusting. Hideous, unlovable, stupid, worthless on every conceivable level. Every time I looked in the mirror, I wanted to be someone else. It's a strong way to put it but there were actually days when I wished I could just rip my face off. Be faceless. Featureless. My own reflection was my biggest trigger and I felt almost overwhelming self loathing every time I saw it. Not everyone would respond to the same trauma in the same manner that I did. I felt that if I had been better, prettier, smarter, whatever I could have avoided such tremendous suffering. Intellectually, I knew better, but I couldn't feel any other way. The point is, I didn't have a blemish on my face and I felt like a monster. It was the lowest point in my life, and I don't think a face full of acne could have made it hurt more.

My worst acne flare makes me feel defeated. Discouraged. Frustrated. Tired. It has a huge impact on my ability to be happy some days. I have never felt repulsive because of acne, and I have never felt repulsed by anyone with acne. That's just my personal experience. Everyone wants to qualify and quantify suffering, but it's all relative. If it's not acne, it's something else. Sometimes you can't even see it to treat it. Of course, it's trite and pedantic to say, but you are your toughest critic. Most people just see acne and think "acne". The mind identifies what it sees, but doesn't necessarily attach a value judgement like "bad acne" or "acceptable acne." It's usually just "acne." Like "blonde" "male" "female" etc. etc. It's not deeper than that. It just feels that way. I'm sorry that it feels so shitty.

Edited by luckycat
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I was honest enough to share my thoughts. I don't like that I have these thoughts about other people. I certainly don't judge anyone for any type of condition or disease they are suffering with, but I also cannot stop myself from having the thoughts. I am confused about improving myself. How would I do that? I already eat right and exercise to maintain a positive self-image. Doesn't matter because I will never be satisfied with my appearance. You are right that our choices are limited and we are forced to make due with what is given to us.

Well, I don't accept that it is just life. What a shitty concept, and whomever created this should probably consider upgrading because this version sucks ass. Everyone treats life as a beautiful gift, but I am having trouble understanding what is so great about it. I learned quickly that the world is not a fair place, and reality is cold.

I don't know where my original post came from. I guess I was just pretty damn frustrated with a lot of shit, and I can't exactly post this on facebook if I wish to continue having a social life.

Changing the way you think is probably one of the hardest things to do. I don't even really think there's ever a finish line - you just gradually progress in baby steps for the most part. I mentioned that I was one of those awful shallow kids back in high school, and a whole university degree later, I'm still pretty damn spoiled and superficial, but I'm a LOT better than I used to be because I actively got out there and tried to put myself in situations where I'd have to challenge my assumptions/change my thinking. Improving yourself isn't an exclusively physical endeavour, it's a mental one too - the concept of sound body/sound mind has been around since the Ancient Greeks. Read lots, make friends with people you otherwise wouldn't look twice at, try to travel, volunteer, etc. Eating right/exercising well/trying to maintain a positive self-image is only part of the whole picture. Sometimes progress is frustratingly slow, but I genuinely do think it's worth it. Heck, if I'd had this type of acne as an eighteen/nineteen year old I'd probably have tried to commit suicide or something, but as a twenty-two year old I'm merely very depressed without being actually suicidal, so something must be working.

And of course this isn't "just" life in the sense that suckiness is all there is. Life has its ups and downs; acne is just one of the (relatively) major downs for somebody who lives in the first world (as I'm assuming you do) and doesn't really have to worry about starvation or genocide or malaria or anything like that, but of course it feels perfectly awful all the same because we live in a society - or at least a subsection (read: class) of society - where being "ugly" really does feel like a death sentence. Truth is we're better off than a lot of people and even though we don't necessarily feel so most the time, we should still keep it in mind in order to maintain a little perspective. I'm sure you've had ups in the past and will continue to have them in the future, but you can't expect your life to just be smooth sailing all the way through. And if you think "oh, but this acne is so horrible, why me," then remember that (like you yourself said) everybody has their own story and it could be so much worse.

Bleh, acne is frustrating, I get it sad.png I've pretty much given up my social life completely. I think I've lost count of how many social invitations I've turned down since my acne started.

Edited by hotburrito
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Actually, I tend to find that people with acne or who have had it in the past are usually the ones that find it hugely off-putting. I guess it's because they've been through the torment of looking in the mirror and thinking "My face is so ugly and unattractive, I'm going to be alone forever" so when they see someone else with acne, it's like looking in the mirror and they feel the same emotions of repulsion.

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My thoughts were always that people wouldn't want to have to look at my acne. I felt that it looked horrible and assumed people would think the same. Given that I assumed they wouldn't want to have to look at it, I felt as though I would be inflicting myself upon people so stopped putting myself out there. In that respect, my behaviours and fears are based on an assumption and all it would take is for one person to come and prove me wrong. Although, I can honestly say that I have encountered certain people who only served to reinforce my assumptions and make me feel so much worse, but I guess that says more about them than it does me. Despite the fact that that those people didn't matter, I let their opinions matter and dictate how I felt. That could be countered simply be giving myself a positive message and reinforcing that instead, thus removing the negative ones.

For all my insecurities about my skin, about being around other people, and about how I'm perceived in general, there's not actually a whole lot I can do. I look the way I do and I have the appearance and build that I have, this is me and it's what I've been given. Same for my skin - although I can influence it to a point by taking care of it and treating the problem of acne, this is currently part of who I am on a physical level and it's not actually my fault so I have a choice between accepting it and carrying on or letting it win and hide away. Some would say that isn't even a choice. Either way, if people have a problem with it, I don't suppose there's much I can do about that.

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Well, it was pretty courageous of you to share your honest thoughts. And I think it's overly optimistic to state that looks don't matter. Especially in this day and age of plastic surgery and digital airbrushing- We probably have unreasonable expectations of beauty. But it sounds like your perceptions and your reasoning is off. First you compared acne to the deformities of the elephant man, and that's just crazy- you realize that's crazy right? Second, you assume that if you have cruel thoughts about people than other people must have the same thoughts. Third, that if some people are cruel, shallow and judgmental, than all people are and you don't want to live in a world like that.

Truth is there are people out there that are like that, and you will probably encounter some of them. But most people, even if they don't have a noticeable "defect" will encounter a**holes in their lifetime. Part of life. I think your problem is that you agree with them that your acne makes you disgusting and unlovable.

Just look at the evidence- I see people every day who have acne or more serious conditions who find partners and friends and all that jazz. And you can too.

I had a friend in highschool who was scarred from chicken pox- it looked very much like acne scarring. I did notice it the first time I met her. But after we had been friends for a while, I really stopped seeing it, until my stepmother mentioned it to me one day. Then I thought, oh yeah, she does have scars. But I really didn't see them anymore, nor did I find them "disgusting". She was an absolutely gorgeous person.

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Well, it was pretty courageous of you to share your honest thoughts. And I think it's overly optimistic to state that looks don't matter. Especially in this day and age of plastic surgery and digital airbrushing- We probably have unreasonable expectations of beauty. But it sounds like your perceptions and your reasoning is off. First you compared acne to the deformities of the elephant man, and that's just crazy- you realize that's crazy right? Second, you assume that if you have cruel thoughts about people than other people must have the same thoughts. Third, that if some people are cruel, shallow and judgmental, than all people are and you don't want to live in a world like that.

Truth is there are people out there that are like that, and you will probably encounter some of them. But most people, even if they don't have a noticeable "defect" will encounter a**holes in their lifetime. Part of life. I think your problem is that you agree with them that your acne makes you disgusting and unlovable.

Just look at the evidence- I see people every day who have acne or more serious conditions who find partners and friends and all that jazz. And you can too.

I had a friend in highschool who was scarred from chicken pox- it looked very much like acne scarring. I did notice it the first time I met her. But after we had been friends for a while, I really stopped seeing it, until my stepmother mentioned it to me one day. Then I thought, oh yeah, she does have scars. But I really didn't see them anymore, nor did I find them "disgusting". She was an absolutely gorgeous person.

Oh.my.god. I did not compare acne to the deformities of an elephant man. I think anyone with a functioning brain could understand that is nonsense. I used a few severe skin conditions to illustrate that strangers who see these diseases for the first time react negatively to them. I truly believe everyone has cruel thoughts, and thankfully most of us have enough tact to keep those thoughts to ourselves. Acne is a repugnant feature. If it wasn't, why not just keep it on our face right? The difference is that I would never discriminate against someone based on their appearance. I wouldn't treat them like shit. I wrote in an earlier post how I found a girl with severe acne pretty, but I guess everyone ignored that? I don't allow it to influence my decision, but that is only because I understand what acne is like, and I would never want to be judged based on it.

I have encountered many people that are shallow and judgmental. They are everywhere. My friends are that way. My dad is that way. People aren't shy about sharing their disgust for certain physical features.

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Really interesting posts, and I agree, looks do matter to people. but it's not the only quality that matters, and it isn't some end all say all either. How much does it actually matter? What do looks get you? Why care what people think? In a cosmetic sense, acne doesn't forcibly debilitate you, but the psychological effects seem to vary from person to person. People can be pretty shallow, judgmental, and overall unlikable, yet we all seem to have dealt with the drive to be approved of and accepted, to fit in. Hopefully everyone here finds something that works for their acne, but I wouldn't trade the experience it's given me for anything. You can let it have a grip beyond your skin, affecting your social life, relationships, work, education, and overall character. Or, you can transcend cultural norms and stimgas that it's made you so aware of, realizing that they really don't matter all that much. That's my take on it.

Edited by tim12
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Actually, no. I can't remember exactly how I felt when I had my first breakout. I think I thought something like, "Oh shit. This sucks. Someone better buy me some Clearasil."

I had something really painful occur a couple of years ago that made me feel disgusting. Hideous, unlovable, stupid, worthless on every conceivable level. Every time I looked in the mirror, I wanted to be someone else. It's a strong way to put it but there were actually days when I wished I could just rip my face off. Be faceless. Featureless. My own reflection was my biggest trigger and I felt almost overwhelming self loathing every time I saw it. Not everyone would respond to the same trauma in the same manner that I did. I felt that if I had been better, prettier, smarter, whatever I could have avoided such tremendous suffering. Intellectually, I knew better, but I couldn't feel any other way. The point is, I didn't have a blemish on my face and I felt like a monster. It was the lowest point in my life, and I don't think a face full of acne could have made it hurt more.

My worst acne flare makes me feel defeated. Discouraged. Frustrated. Tired. It has a huge impact on my ability to be happy some days. I have never felt repulsive because of acne, and I have never felt repulsed by anyone with acne. That's just my personal experience. Everyone wants to qualify and quantify suffering, but it's all relative. If it's not acne, it's something else. Sometimes you can't even see it to treat it. Of course, it's trite and pedantic to say, but you are your toughest critic. Most people just see acne and think "acne". The mind identifies what it sees, but doesn't necessarily attach a value judgement like "bad acne" or "acceptable acne." It's usually just "acne." Like "blonde" "male" "female" etc. etc. It's not deeper than that. It just feels that way. I'm sorry that it feels so shitty.

It's a lonely feeling. I don't like going anywhere with pimples on my face. I know it is ridiculous to think like that, but it is how I feel. My acne is gone. I only suffer from a few pimples at age 25(!). I do have moderate scarring on certain parts of my face and it does bother me. I hope your situation improved. It is comforting that you have never felt repulsed by someone else with acne. Suffering is relative, and I am certain that if I did not have acne, I would find another flaw in my appearance to obsess over. I did have two severe bouts of acne at the ages of fourteen and twenty, and with all due respect, I do believe that there are categories of acne that people deem to be acceptable. Why I strive for perfection when it is unattainable is beyond me.

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Well, it was pretty courageous of you to share your honest thoughts. And I think it's overly optimistic to state that looks don't matter. Especially in this day and age of plastic surgery and digital airbrushing- We probably have unreasonable expectations of beauty. But it sounds like your perceptions and your reasoning is off. First you compared acne to the deformities of the elephant man, and that's just crazy- you realize that's crazy right? Second, you assume that if you have cruel thoughts about people than other people must have the same thoughts. Third, that if some people are cruel, shallow and judgmental, than all people are and you don't want to live in a world like that.

Truth is there are people out there that are like that, and you will probably encounter some of them. But most people, even if they don't have a noticeable "defect" will encounter a**holes in their lifetime. Part of life. I think your problem is that you agree with them that your acne makes you disgusting and unlovable.

Just look at the evidence- I see people every day who have acne or more serious conditions who find partners and friends and all that jazz. And you can too.

I had a friend in highschool who was scarred from chicken pox- it looked very much like acne scarring. I did notice it the first time I met her. But after we had been friends for a while, I really stopped seeing it, until my stepmother mentioned it to me one day. Then I thought, oh yeah, she does have scars. But I really didn't see them anymore, nor did I find them "disgusting". She was an absolutely gorgeous person.

Oh.my.god. I did not compare acne to the deformities of an elephant man. I think anyone with a functioning brain could understand that is nonsense. I used a few severe skin conditions to illustrate that strangers who see these diseases for the first time react negatively to them. I truly believe everyone has cruel thoughts, and thankfully most of us have enough tact to keep those thoughts to ourselves. Acne is a repugnant feature. If it wasn't, why not just keep it on our face right? The difference is that I would never discriminate against someone based on their appearance. I wouldn't treat them like shit. I wrote in an earlier post how I found a girl with severe acne pretty, but I guess everyone ignored that? I don't allow it to influence my decision, but that is only because I understand what acne is like, and I would never want to be judged based on it.

I have encountered many people that are shallow and judgmental. They are everywhere. My friends are that way. My dad is that way. People aren't shy about sharing their disgust for certain physical features.

ok i think i get what youre saying. any deformity in general is looked down upon, no matter how severe, and to the people who look down on these deformities, thats all they see and they dont even think of getting to know the person behind the mask. so basically just really shallow people, not necessarily people with perfect skin/lives even though those people are usually the ones who are guilty (key word being usually, not all "perfect" people) so basically, just really shallow people. people who have deformities themselves can be shallow, so i think it depends on their personality, not what they look like

Really interesting posts, and I agree, looks do matter to people. but it's not the only quality that matters, and it isn't some end all say all either. How much does it actually matter? What do looks get you? Why care what people think? In a cosmetic sense, acne doesn't forcibly debilitate you, but the psychological effects seem to vary from person to person. People can be pretty shallow, judgmental, and overall unlikable, yet we all seem to have dealt with the drive to be approved of and accepted, to fit in. Hopefully everyone here finds something that works for their acne, but I wouldn't trade the experience it's given me for anything. You can let it have a grip beyond your skin, affecting your social life, relationships, work, education, and overall character. Or, you can transcend cultural norms and stimgas that it's made you so aware of, realizing that they really don't matter all that much. That's my take on it.

looks kind of start everything off. like with friends, girlfriends/boyfriends, it really makes a first impression. you meet someone who you think is pretty/hot/cute/etc and so you make an effort to talk to them. but i agree, anyone who has problems with their appearance kind of learns a lesson to be more open to others who are struggling too, and thats something people who lead perfect little lives dont have. so in a way i think us acne sufferers are sort of lucky, we mature more than people who have never had to face these kinds of problems

edit: now i feel guilty for making skin problems seem like such a big deal. there are so many worse things out there, like cancer, world hunger, war

people are dying, and were sitting here typing about pimples.

Edited by Ilovemesomevanity
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I was honest enough to share my thoughts. I don't like that I have these thoughts about other people. I certainly don't judge anyone for any type of condition or disease they are suffering with, but I also cannot stop myself from having the thoughts. I am confused about improving myself. How would I do that? I already eat right and exercise to maintain a positive self-image. Doesn't matter because I will never be satisfied with my appearance. You are right that our choices are limited and we are forced to make due with what is given to us.

Well, I don't accept that it is just life. What a shitty concept, and whomever created this should probably consider upgrading because this version sucks ass. Everyone treats life as a beautiful gift, but I am having trouble understanding what is so great about it. I learned quickly that the world is not a fair place, and reality is cold.

I don't know where my original post came from. I guess I was just pretty damn frustrated with a lot of shit, and I can't exactly post this on facebook if I wish to continue having a social life.

Changing the way you think is probably one of the hardest things to do. I don't even really think there's ever a finish line - you just gradually progress in baby steps for the most part. I mentioned that I was one of those awful shallow kids back in high school, and a whole university degree later, I'm still pretty damn spoiled and superficial, but I'm a LOT better than I used to be because I actively got out there and tried to put myself in situations where I'd have to challenge my assumptions/change my thinking. Improving yourself isn't an exclusively physical endeavour, it's a mental one too - the concept of sound body/sound mind has been around since the Ancient Greeks. Read lots, make friends with people you otherwise wouldn't look twice at, try to travel, volunteer, etc. Eating right/exercising well/trying to maintain a positive self-image is only part of the whole picture. Sometimes progress is frustratingly slow, but I genuinely do think it's worth it. Heck, if I'd had this type of acne as an eighteen/nineteen year old I'd probably have tried to commit suicide or something, but as a twenty-two year old I'm merely very depressed without being actually suicidal, so something must be working.

And of course this isn't "just" life in the sense that suckiness is all there is. Life has its ups and downs; acne is just one of the (relatively) major downs for somebody who lives in the first world (as I'm assuming you do) and doesn't really have to worry about starvation or genocide or malaria or anything like that, but of course it feels perfectly awful all the same because we live in a society - or at least a subsection (read: class) of society - where being "ugly" really does feel like a death sentence. Truth is we're better off than a lot of people and even though we don't necessarily feel so most the time, we should still keep it in mind in order to maintain a little perspective. I'm sure you've had ups in the past and will continue to have them in the future, but you can't expect your life to just be smooth sailing all the way through. And if you think "oh, but this acne is so horrible, why me," then remember that (like you yourself said) everybody has their own story and it could be so much worse.

Bleh, acne is frustrating, I get it sad.png I've pretty much given up my social life completely. I think I've lost count of how many social invitations I've turned down since my acne started.

Nothing wrong with being shallow at a young age I suppose. Most teenagers grow up and mature into great people. I understand that improving yourself is also a mental endeavor. I have become more of a reader these days. Travelling is an expensive hobby, as I am not able to afford many vacations throughout the year. True story: I had acne at the age of fourteen and it has continued into this decade, but somehow I am still around. I sympathize with suicide victims. I do not view them as cowards as so many others do. Suicide is not an option because I have responsibilities and relationships that depend on me.

I completely agree. Acne is a first world problem if you were to compare it to life in Somalia, but as a consequence of living in a first world country, our problem of acne is a matter to attend to. Looks are paramount in our society. It is why the best looking people are chosen to be on television and movies.

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Nothing wrong with being shallow at a young age I suppose. Most teenagers grow up and mature into great people. I understand that improving yourself is also a mental endeavor. I have become more of a reader these days. Travelling is an expensive hobby, as I am not able to afford many vacations throughout the year. True story: I had acne at the age of fourteen and it has continued into this decade, but somehow I am still around. I sympathize with suicide victims. I do not view them as cowards as so many others do. Suicide is not an option because I have responsibilities and relationships that depend on me.

I completely agree. Acne is a first world problem if you were to compare it to life in Somalia, but as a consequence of living in a first world country, our problem of acne is a matter to attend to. Looks are paramount in our society. It is why the best looking people are chosen to be on television and movies.

Societal condemnation of suicide victims as cowards is really problematic. Most people who do all the finger-pointing have probably never been in the suicidal person's shoes.

Yeah, self-improvement has to be both physical and mental. I think so many people neglect one at the expense of the other, as if you can't be good-looking and smart unless you were ~born that way~ - you have to choose. Like if you feel like you'll never be satisfied with your appearance, maybe your problem is more psychological than actually physical, and it would therefore be a better bet for you to work on your self-image issues rather than trying to go on crazy diets and get expensive surgeries. Case in point: Heidi Montag and most people in Hollywood. Though at the same time, it's also much easier to at least eat well/exercise right/at least put some effort into making yourself look respectable than try to ~fight the system/make a statement~ exercising your god-given right to look like a slob all the time. I mean, props to the people who can do that, but life is just so much better/easier (for the most part) if you're attractive.

I often feel really guilty that I'm so fucked up over my acne when other people even in the first world have things like rape and poverty and homophobia to deal with, but I've given up trying to change or even legitimate my feelings because feelings just don't work that way. The best I can do is acknowledge that between myself and say, a cancer patient, if some random scientist were to come by offering a cure for one and only one of us, then that the cancer patient should obviously get that cure over somebody like me... but that doesn't mean I still won't feel like shit about my acne.

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If that is what clear skin people think of others with acne then I don't want to be alive.

wanting to die because there are shallow people is going a bit over board. I don't see why you care so much to the point where you don't want to live. Like, If someone said to me "I wouldn't date someone with acne" I wouldn't want to date them.

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I never noticed acne when I didn't have it. I remember being in high school and never really noticing anyone with acne even though there were plenty of people with it. I even dated a guy with pretty a pretty severe case of acne, but I didn't care. He was a really cool guy. I remember my brother had acne for a short period of time (puberty I guess) and I was a bit younger and I never actually cared to notice it I just remember my parents buying him proactiv and making a big deal about it and I was thinking in my head "I hope I never get that". LOL Funny thing is that now that I have acne I now remember people in high school that had acne, but I just didn't care-I wasn't shallow. The only people that make comments to me about my skin are usually people that have had acne or know someone close to them that has. Some people don't really care too much what YOU look like, only what THEY look like. I'm the same way. I like all people no matter what they look like and can pretty much accept anyone's looks without batting an eye, but accepting myself with all of my flaws included is a bit harder to do. I realize not everyone is like this because I went to a natural market the other day without make-up (a lot of red marks showing) and this guy came up to my mom and told her that I should try laser treatments because his son did it and cleared his skin. Funny!

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Actually, no. I can't remember exactly how I felt when I had my first breakout. I think I thought something like, "Oh shit. This sucks. Someone better buy me some Clearasil."

I had something really painful occur a couple of years ago that made me feel disgusting. Hideous, unlovable, stupid, worthless on every conceivable level. Every time I looked in the mirror, I wanted to be someone else. It's a strong way to put it but there were actually days when I wished I could just rip my face off. Be faceless. Featureless. My own reflection was my biggest trigger and I felt almost overwhelming self loathing every time I saw it. Not everyone would respond to the same trauma in the same manner that I did. I felt that if I had been better, prettier, smarter, whatever I could have avoided such tremendous suffering. Intellectually, I knew better, but I couldn't feel any other way. The point is, I didn't have a blemish on my face and I felt like a monster. It was the lowest point in my life, and I don't think a face full of acne could have made it hurt more.

My worst acne flare makes me feel defeated. Discouraged. Frustrated. Tired. It has a huge impact on my ability to be happy some days. I have never felt repulsive because of acne, and I have never felt repulsed by anyone with acne. That's just my personal experience. Everyone wants to qualify and quantify suffering, but it's all relative. If it's not acne, it's something else. Sometimes you can't even see it to treat it. Of course, it's trite and pedantic to say, but you are your toughest critic. Most people just see acne and think "acne". The mind identifies what it sees, but doesn't necessarily attach a value judgement like "bad acne" or "acceptable acne." It's usually just "acne." Like "blonde" "male" "female" etc. etc. It's not deeper than that. It just feels that way. I'm sorry that it feels so shitty.

It's a lonely feeling. I don't like going anywhere with pimples on my face. I know it is ridiculous to think like that, but it is how I feel. My acne is gone. I only suffer from a few pimples at age 25(!). I do have moderate scarring on certain parts of my face and it does bother me. I hope your situation improved. It is comforting that you have never felt repulsed by someone else with acne. Suffering is relative, and I am certain that if I did not have acne, I would find another flaw in my appearance to obsess over. I did have two severe bouts of acne at the ages of fourteen and twenty, and with all due respect, I do believe that there are categories of acne that people deem to be acceptable. Why I strive for perfection when it is unattainable is beyond me.

No, I agree with you. There are degrees of acne- or any other physical ailment- that people find more comfortable. I don't think it always stems from superficiality or insensitivity. I think it stems more from some strange guilt. The kind of guilt that makes it difficult to make eye contact with amputees or the homeless. There is no way around the obvious, so I think most people simply withdraw from that which they can not relate. Clearly, someone is suffering in ways they are not, so the only thing to do is pretend the afflicted person doesn't exist. I actually saw six people avoid helping a blind man around a pothole at the edge of a curb, while we were all trying to cross traffic. Some simply didn't see him because they were otherwise engaged. Some saw, but were too inept to know how to offer him help. For some people, treating every person with the same dignity and kindness comes naturally. Others have to learn to do so. It is not a bad thing that this must be learned, because I believe most people want to be the best possible versions of themselves and are open to learning. Unfortunately, however, life lessons usually come at the expense of someone else and when it is you or me, it feels like too high of a price to bear.

You are very young. I am not much older (33). For the rest of our lives, we will be encountering people at various points of their development. They may be cruel, but that does not mean that they will be that way forever. The same is true if they are charming or loving- they may not be that way forever. Right now, you view yourself as a person with acne, or as a person who is scarred by acne, but that is not all you are, nor is it all you will ever be, and you don't want anyone to take such a narrow, dim view of you. You are lonely, now, but that too is bound to change. As difficult as it is to imagine, finding people to care for and connect with is something to look forward to and they are out there. The friends I had at 25 are not the friends I have now. At the most, only a couple remain. The people in my life, now, I consider my extended family. We are all selfish, judgmental assholes at times, but not in unforgivable ways. I hope to know them forever, but if not... I will make more room in my life for new friends.

I am better, now. Thank you. I think I was always predisposed to some form of body dysmorphia (though, I wouldn't have thought so). I can be rather obsessive compulsive and I don't think I ever had a very strong sense of self. I liked pretty things, and loved makeup and doing my hair, and I think because I put so much effort into maintaining my appearance people thought I was vain, but I was really just somewhat OCD. It didn't manifest in any sort of self-destructive way, so I don't believe anyone felt it was a problem. I never thought, "I will look hot in this." I thought, "I love this fabric. The dress is gorgeous." I think it is good to feel confident and beautiful within reason, and I just don't think I had much in the way of healthy self-esteem, so when I went through that very challenging time all of my anger and pain was turned inward. It was like a switch had been tripped and suddenly I had problems I never imagined I could develop.

I still wouldn't say I have a very healthy sense of self-esteem, but it is something I am working on. Nothing you feel is ridiculous. I understand what it is like to want perfection, but that is so subjective, and hardly worth twisting yourself up over. Yet, I think that is a natural desire. Eventually, though, I believe the desire to be happy overrides the desire to be perfect. More importantly, I think you really have to be your own best friend. Show yourself all the compassion and acceptance you would have to offer someone else, or would hope to find in another person. For me, it really, truly does start there. I hope you feel better soon. :)

Oh. As for the scarring- if it is really that bothersome, take heart in the fact that there are treatments that are quite successful. If it makes you feel so bad, you don't have to live with it. No one is suggesting that you accept something that is completely unacceptable to you. I think it is just important to examine whether or not a thing is truly unacceptable and why.

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Societal condemnation of suicide victims as cowards is really problematic. Most people who do all the finger-pointing have probably never been in the suicidal person's shoes.

Yeah, self-improvement has to be both physical and mental. I think so many people neglect one at the expense of the other, as if you can't be good-looking and smart unless you were ~born that way~ - you have to choose. Like if you feel like you'll never be satisfied with your appearance, maybe your problem is more psychological than actually physical, and it would therefore be a better bet for you to work on your self-image issues rather than trying to go on crazy diets and get expensive surgeries. Case in point: Heidi Montag and most people in Hollywood. Though at the same time, it's also much easier to at least eat well/exercise right/at least put some effort into making yourself look respectable than try to ~fight the system/make a statement~ exercising your god-given right to look like a slob all the time. I mean, props to the people who can do that, but life is just so much better/easier (for the most part) if you're attractive.

I often feel really guilty that I'm so fucked up over my acne when other people even in the first world have things like rape and poverty and homophobia to deal with, but I've given up trying to change or even legitimate my feelings because feelings just don't work that way. The best I can do is acknowledge that between myself and say, a cancer patient, if some random scientist were to come by offering a cure for one and only one of us, then that the cancer patient should obviously get that cure over somebody like me... but that doesn't mean I still won't feel like shit about my acne.

I do have a psychological problem. I have become very good at hiding it from others. People treat me like a normal person, and they would not have a clue what goes on in my head. I don't know how I could work on self-image issues. I am going to feel like this for the rest of my life, and I have to accept I will have good days and bad days. Some days I look in the mirror and say fuck it I am not going to class. Other days I feel like a god damn movie star. I cannot explain this. I have more sympathy for celebrities in the public eye (but not Heidi Montag. She is a douche). Their looks are examined under a microscope. Gain ten pounds and you are fat. New zit on the cheek and you have acne problems. Being in the public eye is mentally taxing. I think people like you and I are fortunate to only be judged for a quick second by a stranger than to be scrutinized on television and the radio by millions of strangers.

I never noticed acne when I didn't have it. I remember being in high school and never really noticing anyone with acne even though there were plenty of people with it. I even dated a guy with pretty a pretty severe case of acne, but I didn't care. He was a really cool guy. I remember my brother had acne for a short period of time (puberty I guess) and I was a bit younger and I never actually cared to notice it I just remember my parents buying him proactiv and making a big deal about it and I was thinking in my head "I hope I never get that". LOL Funny thing is that now that I have acne I now remember people in high school that had acne, but I just didn't care-I wasn't shallow. The only people that make comments to me about my skin are usually people that have had acne or know someone close to them that has. Some people don't really care too much what YOU look like, only what THEY look like. I'm the same way. I like all people no matter what they look like and can pretty much accept anyone's looks without batting an eye, but accepting myself with all of my flaws included is a bit harder to do. I realize not everyone is like this because I went to a natural market the other day without make-up (a lot of red marks showing) and this guy came up to my mom and told her that I should try laser treatments because his son did it and cleared his skin. Funny!

That is odd. I always figured acne was noticeable on people because it is located on their face. You can clearly see red marks and white heads on a person's skin. Maybe other people are right. When I notice a person with acne I start to feel miserable. It reminds me of what I had to deal with. I do agree that people are overly concerned with how they look like. I am nobody. Who would seriously care how I look? I'm not famous. I too can accept people for what they look like, but I have trouble accepting myself.

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I do have a psychological problem. I have become very good at hiding it from others. People treat me like a normal person, and they would not have a clue what goes on in my head. I don't know how I could work on self-image issues. I am going to feel like this for the rest of my life, and I have to accept I will have good days and bad days. Some days I look in the mirror and say fuck it I am not going to class. Other days I feel like a god damn movie star. I cannot explain this. I have more sympathy for celebrities in the public eye (but not Heidi Montag. She is a douche). Their looks are examined under a microscope. Gain ten pounds and you are fat. New zit on the cheek and you have acne problems. Being in the public eye is mentally taxing. I think people like you and I are fortunate to only be judged for a quick second by a stranger than to be scrutinized on television and the radio by millions of strangers.

I used to think I was eminently sane. I've been reevaluating that conception of myself a lot these past few weeks. IMO sanity/"insanity" is a spectrum rather than a simple yes/no diagnosis.

I guess first of all you have to start to believe that you can change, because otherwise the belief that you can't might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As for believing that you're a hideous monster one day and hot as fuck the next, isn't that something pretty much everybody feels? To me at least, that doesn't really require an explanation. I wouldn't know how to solve your self-image problem, though. I was making progress with mine and then acne sent me back to an even worse place than where I started from :(

I think becoming a celebrity would legit be (one of) my nightmare(s).

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No, I agree with you. There are degrees of acne- or any other physical ailment- that people find more comfortable. I don't think it always stems from superficiality or insensitivity. I think it stems more from some strange guilt. The kind of guilt that makes it difficult to make eye contact with amputees or the homeless. There is no way around the obvious, so I think most people simply withdraw from that which they can not relate. Clearly, someone is suffering in ways they are not, so the only thing to do is pretend the afflicted person doesn't exist. I actually saw six people avoid helping a blind man around a pothole at the edge of a curb, while we were all trying to cross traffic. Some simply didn't see him because they were otherwise engaged. Some saw, but were too inept to know how to offer him help. For some people, treating every person with the same dignity and kindness comes naturally. Others have to learn to do so. It is not a bad thing that this must be learned, because I believe most people want to be the best possible versions of themselves and are open to learning. Unfortunately, however, life lessons usually come at the expense of someone else and when it is you or me, it feels like too high of a price to bear.

You are very young. I am not much older (33). For the rest of our lives, we will be encountering people at various points of their development. They may be cruel, but that does not mean that they will be that way forever. The same is true if they are charming or loving- they may not be that way forever. Right now, you view yourself as a person with acne, or as a person who is scarred by acne, but that is not all you are, nor is it all you will ever be, and you don't want anyone to take such a narrow, dim view of you. You are lonely, now, but that too is bound to change. As difficult as it is to imagine, finding people to care for and connect with is something to look forward to and they are out there. The friends I had at 25 are not the friends I have now. At the most, only a couple remain. The people in my life, now, I consider my extended family. We are all selfish, judgmental assholes at times, but not in unforgivable ways. I hope to know them forever, but if not... I will make more room in my life for new friends.

I am better, now. Thank you. I think I was always predisposed to some form of body dysmorphia (though, I wouldn't have thought so). I can be rather obsessive compulsive and I don't think I ever had a very strong sense of self. I liked pretty things, and loved makeup and doing my hair, and I think because I put so much effort into maintaining my appearance people thought I was vain, but I was really just somewhat OCD. It didn't manifest in any sort of self-destructive way, so I don't believe anyone felt it was a problem. I never thought, "I will look hot in this." I thought, "I love this fabric. The dress is gorgeous." I think it is good to feel confident and beautiful within reason, and I just don't think I had much in the way of healthy self-esteem, so when I went through that very challenging time all of my anger and pain was turned inward. It was like a switch had been tripped and suddenly I had problems I never imagined I could develop.

I still wouldn't say I have a very healthy sense of self-esteem, but it is something I am working on. Nothing you feel is ridiculous. I understand what it is like to want perfection, but that is so subjective, and hardly worth twisting yourself up over. Yet, I think that is a natural desire. Eventually, though, I believe the desire to be happy overrides the desire to be perfect. More importantly, I think you really have to be your own best friend. Show yourself all the compassion and acceptance you would have to offer someone else, or would hope to find in another person. For me, it really, truly does start there. I hope you feel better soon. smile.png

Oh. As for the scarring- if it is really that bothersome, take heart in the fact that there are treatments that are quite successful. If it makes you feel so bad, you don't have to live with it. No one is suggesting that you accept something that is completely unacceptable to you. I think it is just important to examine whether or not a thing is truly unacceptable and why.

Wow. This is a very large post. Interesting take on the reason why people have trouble making eye contact with people born with a physical defect. You and I cannot relate to people with severe ailments. If you want an unbiased, brutal opinion of how you look, ask a seven year old. Children are blunt creatures. I am polite enough to hold a door open for the person behind me, but that is the extent of my kindness for a fellow stranger. I am sorry, but real life does not play out like a liberty mutual commercial.

I don't consider thirty-three old. Maybe that is old to a high school kid, but humans naturally adapt to their age. There is no point in complaining about turning another year older like my friends do. I used to say I don't want to get older every year after my twentieth birthday. I have lost many of my friends because I chose to avoid social functions because of my breakouts. I used to find it easy to approach women and make friends with people. Returning to work last year, and enrolling in school this year have challenged me to regain a small amount of confidence to get through the day. The first day of class our professor forced us to introduce ourselves and.....FUCK. That was stressful. Now I can easily make conversation with people and nobody has any idea how socially awkward I used to be. Only a few friends remain in my circle. The rest are acquaintances that will undoubtedly drift away in the future. I still have anti-social qualities in me, but those will never leave.

I too was predisposed to body dysmorphia (sp? wtf) and you know what I hate cliches, so I will just say acne ruined me, It seriously. It changed me in a deep way. I have also discovered it is easy to give someone great advice, but almost impossible to take it yourself. I can tell you that you a great person, but if you don't have a healthy self-esteem, the compliment will bounce off you. That is how I am. If someone gives me a compliment, I don't know how to react. Now I have learned to just shut up and say thank you instead of responding with a self-deprecating remark. I also find it hard to believe that true happiness exists. Each day is a struggle. Happiness is not permanent. The world tells us to take pride in our unique individual qualities, but also pushes us to look perfect. The world makes you feel bad for not fitting in with their idea of what a person should look like.

The scarring does bother me. I'm not sure how one would classify it. My dermatologist says it is unnoticeable from a distance, and you can only point it out up close. Some close people say it does not look bad, but I am skeptical. It is like I want to hear someone tell me it is bad, only to justify my reclusive behavior. Scar treatments are expensive, and even though I might have the money, I do not see myself having surgery to fix what I look like. Crazy as it sounds, this is how I look and if I can't change it naturally, then I choose to live with it. I don't make any sense.

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No, I agree with you. There are degrees of acne- or any other physical ailment- that people find more comfortable. I don't think it always stems from superficiality or insensitivity. I think it stems more from some strange guilt. The kind of guilt that makes it difficult to make eye contact with amputees or the homeless. There is no way around the obvious, so I think most people simply withdraw from that which they can not relate. Clearly, someone is suffering in ways they are not, so the only thing to do is pretend the afflicted person doesn't exist. I actually saw six people avoid helping a blind man around a pothole at the edge of a curb, while we were all trying to cross traffic. Some simply didn't see him because they were otherwise engaged. Some saw, but were too inept to know how to offer him help. For some people, treating every person with the same dignity and kindness comes naturally. Others have to learn to do so. It is not a bad thing that this must be learned, because I believe most people want to be the best possible versions of themselves and are open to learning. Unfortunately, however, life lessons usually come at the expense of someone else and when it is you or me, it feels like too high of a price to bear.

You are very young. I am not much older (33). For the rest of our lives, we will be encountering people at various points of their development. They may be cruel, but that does not mean that they will be that way forever. The same is true if they are charming or loving- they may not be that way forever. Right now, you view yourself as a person with acne, or as a person who is scarred by acne, but that is not all you are, nor is it all you will ever be, and you don't want anyone to take such a narrow, dim view of you. You are lonely, now, but that too is bound to change. As difficult as it is to imagine, finding people to care for and connect with is something to look forward to and they are out there. The friends I had at 25 are not the friends I have now. At the most, only a couple remain. The people in my life, now, I consider my extended family. We are all selfish, judgmental assholes at times, but not in unforgivable ways. I hope to know them forever, but if not... I will make more room in my life for new friends.

I am better, now. Thank you. I think I was always predisposed to some form of body dysmorphia (though, I wouldn't have thought so). I can be rather obsessive compulsive and I don't think I ever had a very strong sense of self. I liked pretty things, and loved makeup and doing my hair, and I think because I put so much effort into maintaining my appearance people thought I was vain, but I was really just somewhat OCD. It didn't manifest in any sort of self-destructive way, so I don't believe anyone felt it was a problem. I never thought, "I will look hot in this." I thought, "I love this fabric. The dress is gorgeous." I think it is good to feel confident and beautiful within reason, and I just don't think I had much in the way of healthy self-esteem, so when I went through that very challenging time all of my anger and pain was turned inward. It was like a switch had been tripped and suddenly I had problems I never imagined I could develop.

I still wouldn't say I have a very healthy sense of self-esteem, but it is something I am working on. Nothing you feel is ridiculous. I understand what it is like to want perfection, but that is so subjective, and hardly worth twisting yourself up over. Yet, I think that is a natural desire. Eventually, though, I believe the desire to be happy overrides the desire to be perfect. More importantly, I think you really have to be your own best friend. Show yourself all the compassion and acceptance you would have to offer someone else, or would hope to find in another person. For me, it really, truly does start there. I hope you feel better soon. smile.png

Oh. As for the scarring- if it is really that bothersome, take heart in the fact that there are treatments that are quite successful. If it makes you feel so bad, you don't have to live with it. No one is suggesting that you accept something that is completely unacceptable to you. I think it is just important to examine whether or not a thing is truly unacceptable and why.

Wow. This is a very large post. Interesting take on the reason why people have trouble making eye contact with people born with a physical defect. You and I cannot relate to people with severe ailments. If you want an unbiased, brutal opinion of how you look, ask a seven year old. Children are blunt creatures. I am polite enough to hold a door open for the person behind me, but that is the extent of my kindness for a fellow stranger. I am sorry, but real life does not play out like a liberty mutual commercial.

I don't consider thirty-three old. Maybe that is old to a high school kid, but humans naturally adapt to their age. There is no point in complaining about turning another year older like my friends do. I used to say I don't want to get older every year after my twentieth birthday. I have lost many of my friends because I chose to avoid social functions because of my breakouts. I used to find it easy to approach women and make friends with people. Returning to work last year, and enrolling in school this year have challenged me to regain a small amount of confidence to get through the day. The first day of class our professor forced us to introduce ourselves and.....FUCK. That was stressful. Now I can easily make conversation with people and nobody has any idea how socially awkward I used to be. Only a few friends remain in my circle. The rest are acquaintances that will undoubtedly drift away in the future. I still have anti-social qualities in me, but those will never leave.

I too was predisposed to body dysmorphia (sp? wtf) and you know what I hate cliches, so I will just say acne ruined me, It seriously. It changed me in a deep way. I have also discovered it is easy to give someone great advice, but almost impossible to take it yourself. I can tell you that you a great person, but if you don't have a healthy self-esteem, the compliment will bounce off you. That is how I am. If someone gives me a compliment, I don't know how to react. Now I have learned to just shut up and say thank you instead of responding with a self-deprecating remark. I also find it hard to believe that true happiness exists. Each day is a struggle. Happiness is not permanent. The world tells us to take pride in our unique individual qualities, but also pushes us to look perfect. The world makes you feel bad for not fitting in with their idea of what a person should look like.

The scarring does bother me. I'm not sure how one would classify it. My dermatologist says it is unnoticeable from a distance, and you can only point it out up close. Some close people say it does not look bad, but I am skeptical. It is like I want to hear someone tell me it is bad, only to justify my reclusive behavior. Scar treatments are expensive, and even though I might have the money, I do not see myself having surgery to fix what I look like. Crazy as it sounds, this is how I look and if I can't change it naturally, then I choose to live with it. I don't make any sense.

Hmmm.... Maybe I was too wordy. To be more concise: I believe people can change. People usually want to change. Change is good! You have over 2,000 posts. I don't think you want to be asocial. :)

You sound traumatized. When the sight of someone else's acne is upsetting because it reminds you of your own struggles, that is often a sign of post-traumatic stress. I think that is something counseling may be necessary to address.

Happiness is transient, but it can always be a goal. You just have to decide that you want to be a happier person. If so, it has to be a goal that is kept in sight at all times. The more you acknowledge that you want happiness/better relationships/healthier attitudes...the more you will unconsciously work toward these things in all that you do. Trust me, I am not Little Miss Sunshine. I have to make a deliberate effort to look for the best in people, myself included.

As for random acts of kindness for/from fellow strangers, I don't want to sound cliche, but I can't tell you how many times a sincere smile from a total unknown has lifted my spirits when I was especially glum. It can make all the difference in another person's day.

Edited by luckycat
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The majority of those posts came in 2007-2009 when I was a social outcast and visited the site daily. I don't post as often as I used to. I forced myself to interact with people I encounter in the real world. I was then reminded how annoying people can be. I only like to be social on my terms. Life is so uncomplicated without the drama of others.

I guess. I have read internet and magazine article that give tips how to be happier. My favorite one that I could never see myself doing is looking in the mirror and saying I am going to have a great day. Really? Who does that? Also, who puts notes on the door of their medicine cabinet with a message that reads "Smile"? I could never. Do this. I do have people I can speak to, but I don't have anyone that I can share my emotions with. As I wrote earlier, it is easy for me to see the good in others. Seeing the good in myself is the challenge.

I do have a psychological problem. I have become very good at hiding it from others. People treat me like a normal person, and they would not have a clue what goes on in my head. I don't know how I could work on self-image issues. I am going to feel like this for the rest of my life, and I have to accept I will have good days and bad days. Some days I look in the mirror and say fuck it I am not going to class. Other days I feel like a god damn movie star. I cannot explain this. I have more sympathy for celebrities in the public eye (but not Heidi Montag. She is a douche). Their looks are examined under a microscope. Gain ten pounds and you are fat. New zit on the cheek and you have acne problems. Being in the public eye is mentally taxing. I think people like you and I are fortunate to only be judged for a quick second by a stranger than to be scrutinized on television and the radio by millions of strangers.

I used to think I was eminently sane. I've been reevaluating that conception of myself a lot these past few weeks. IMO sanity/"insanity" is a spectrum rather than a simple yes/no diagnosis.

I guess first of all you have to start to believe that you can change, because otherwise the belief that you can't might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As for believing that you're a hideous monster one day and hot as fuck the next, isn't that something pretty much everybody feels? To me at least, that doesn't really require an explanation. I wouldn't know how to solve your self-image problem, though. I was making progress with mine and then acne sent me back to an even worse place than where I started from sad.png

I think becoming a celebrity would legit be (one of) my nightmare(s).

Edited by Heir
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