Having beautiful skin was something I desired for the longest time possible.
Beautiful to me meant having clear skin, being thin, being desirable. I clearly remember waking up to breakouts as a teenager thinking what the hell are these bumps on my face?! Being the only minority in high school, the peer pressure to fit into my surroundings saw me dabble in unrealistic avenues in achieving beautiful.
Around 17 years old, I recall walking into department stores housing various skincare brands looking for a solution. With several choices, I was overwhelmed as this experience added another complexity. My first experience of racial discrimination (in beauty) as the salespersons exact words were we do not carry anything for your skin type I walked out confused. By this point, I had powered through almost all major drugstore brands, and nothing seemed to work. With limited information, I was at a dead end.
Not giving much thought to what I was eating growing up as my parents always had a variety of food in the house. I experienced exotic food choices and became accustomed to them.
Around 2014 I decided to explore my lifestyle further as I met one of my best friends who is a professional dancer. Her lifestyle was foreign to me as this was the first time I had heard of how certain foods affect the skin. Still unsure of this notion, I resorted to beauty services which she recommended. You name it, I had it done, and by this point, I got a part-time job for a renowned French skincare brand. I was now using $350 serums used to treat burn patients and moisturisers made for my skin. I still remember not feeling any resolution as the thousands of dollars spent over three years did not give me perfect skin.
I now resorted to concealers to mask minor pigmentation on my skin. With a boost of confidence, I started researching holistic ways of living. My partner at the time influenced my lifestyle as we mindfully select what we consumed and keeping fit and healthy.
Slowly recognising the inconsistency of information provided to me over the years, I was outraged realising the amount of money I had spent on “high end” cosmetics products and procedures which weren’t appropriate for my skin and completely sucked into the marketing of buying into these unrealistic ideas.
A little older and wiser, I continue to refine how I approach my health and wellbeing as my relationship with my body has changed. This shift and awareness also extends deeper and motivates me to align with organisations like HOM. The definition Beautiful has changed for me. Now 27, I use my experience to educate others to challenge these beauty standards as we are all unique.