What is wrong with your face? I’ve been to the doctor’s, she said, “Well she’s got the worst skin I’ve ever seen in my life.” but I didn’t want to let my acne win. So I’ve been recently struggling with cystic acne, I kind of get really large cysts underneath the skin, as well as normal pimples as well. It can be really red and really sore, just not much fun at all. I think the most sort of uncomfortable thing is being when people are staring someone said to me like, “Oh, what is wrong with your face?” I got quite upset about it. “What’s wrong with your face?” like you could have phrased it better. There have been times where I’ve been to the doctors. One specific time I went and she sort of turned to my dad who had come with me and said, “Well she’s got the worst skin I’ve ever seen in my life.” I know that my skin is bad, but having someone else say that it’s that bad as well makes you kind of realise, “Okay. this is serious and it’s not good.” Stephen: I remember how the doctors reacted to you it was just like,“Oh my God.” You know. Actually being shocked and almost horrified. And it did make you more withdrawn, you were conscious of it at the time. Emily: I was doing everything I possibly could, and it was just getting worse. I changed my diet, I tried going gluten free, diary free, cutting out sugar, I’ve tried just chilling out and doing Yoga and meditating. I tried acupuncture as well I’ve had laser treatment, I’ve had micro dermal abrasion, different facials. I remember I tried drinking celery juice for a whole month every morning, and nothing changed When I was 22, I got a job as a gym manager, in a local gym. I’d always battled with my skin, it really started to sort of worsen when I was around 22, at the same time as I was starting the management role. My face literary just erupted and yeah, it was like the worst, it had ever been before. I felt like people were judging me and thinking that I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle. Stressing about that obviously made it worse, so I think I just decided, “You know what I’ve had enough.” I decided to leave my job. Looking at it now I feel really sorry for like the girl in the photo. I feel very sorry for like how I felt at that time, Okay, so this was the first photo that I decided to put on social media. So I think I got to the point where I just thought, “Right I’m just going to put it out there.” I was really nervous about it but I just thought, I kind of didn’t want to hide my skin anymore. I didn’t want to hide the fact that my skin was getting worse. So I remember posting it online and I was totally overwhelmed with how sort of positive the response was, and yeah that kind of spurred me on to post more things. I never realised that there was such a sort of community online, for people suffering with acne. It just makes you realise that you are not alone, I noticed how many strangers got in touch with me as well. People that I’ve never met, people that I don’t know, people from all over the world. but it’s really lovely to sort of connect with people that are going through some of the things. I think before even having acne I was still quite insecure, but having acne has kind of taught me to accept myself as I am even if I have got flaws that we’re so much more than just how we look. So now I’m definitely just trying to promote the kind of skin positivity body positivity message, of just accepting yourself for who you are, and even if you’ve got flaws even if you’ve got insecurities, it’s about learning to accept them, love yourself as you are and be happy. You are still beautiful even if you’ve got acne.
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