Hey you. You with the terrible skin. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, letting yourself go like that. Those big pores, the oiliness, the breakouts. It’s just not healthy.
What’s that? You were born with oily skin? Well come on, that’s no excuse. My skin is naturally very dry and you don’t see me peeling all over the place. I take care of MY skin. You’re just lazy. You have to take some pride in yourself and show a little discipline. If you’d just wash it properly every morning and every evening, use the right products religiously, see your dermatogist regularly. Drink enough water. Avoid those bad foods. Look at your sister, she has the exact same skin you do, and you don’t see her with those ugly pimples.
I mean, you’d be so pretty if only you would take care of your skin. I can make you an appointment with the dermatologist, but you know, you have to promise to stick to the regimen. And there’s this support group you can join for other people who have a hard time taking care of their skin. It’s really fun. There’s a group leader who gives you skincare tips every week, and everybody shares their stories about overcoming the temptation to go out without sunscreen or to use that popular makeup that everybody with good skin can get away with using, but you can’t. You get points for every day you abstain from bad skincare practices. And every week the group leader will inspect your skin and see how you’re doing --- write it down in a little book, so you can track your progress.
Look, honey, having bad skin doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, but you’ll get so much further in life if you just make a little more effort to be pretty. You don’t see people with bad skin on TV, do you? Or as the president of a company? You’ll never get cast as the lead in the play with a face full of pimples. It’s just not going to be believable that a boy would be in love with you. People with bad skin just aren’t attractive, and only attractive people date and fall in love and get married and have sex. You can be the funny sidekick, though, the one that everybody makes fun of.
No, darling, none of the makeup in this magazine or that store is for you. They only have stuff for girls with beautiful skin. Here, we’ll go to the special store just for girls with bad skin. There’s lots of stuff that will cover up your blemishes. You won’t really fool anybody but it’s better than nothing. The products aren’t very fashionable or beautifully presented, and they’re not the best quality, either, but if you want the best things you have to work on getting better skin so you can use them. It’s just the way things are.
You know, having such bad skin is really placing a burden on society. Your dermatologist bills are through the roof, and that makes health care more expensive for all of us. Sure, I’ve been in rehab four times and my insurance paid for it. What’s your point?
Excuse me, miss. Are you SURE you want a cheeseburger? All the grease is going to make your skin break out even more. You don’t look like you need any more grease in your diet. How about you get a smoothie with lots of antioxidants instead?
Excuse me. I couldn't help but notice that your shopping cart is full of products that are NOT good for your skin. Why don't you switch out that rich moisturizer for some nice witch hazel?
Look, I’m only telling you all this because I want you to be happy, and I know you’re not as happy and healthy as you could be. Sure, you can get away with bad skin when you’re younger; you can cover it up with makeup for a while, but when you get old, you’re going to be just hideous.
I think you get the point. I've been thinking a lot about fat shaming recently, for various reasons, including the article about the not-so-attractive-or-fit CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch's "no fat/ugly people" policy, and the fact that I've regained a lot of the weight I fought so hard to lose, myself. It's not that anyone has attempted to fat shame me --- I do a good enough job of it myself and wish I could just STOP --- but it's everywhere. It's in magazines, TV shows, the comments section of any post on the internet. And honestly, unless you have battled obesity yourself, you have no idea how much of your mental and spiritual real estate thinking about fat, food, and how you look can take up. It's exhausting. It got me to thinking --- would it be possible to put the constant pressure into perspective for people who aren't and never have been really fat or had issues with food? What if you had bad skin, and that was like the WORST THING IN THE WORLD? That's what it feels like, being fat. You are constantly judged on every level. Fat is a moral failing. Read some of the stories in the links I've posted. Read the comments. Think about your own imperfections and think about what it would be like if you had to dwell on those every single day --- you couldn't buy the clothes everyone else was buying, you worried about what other people might say or do because of what's in your grocery cart or on your plate, you might not be able to visit your doctor without being humiliated, you had to publicly ask for a special accommodation for your imperfection on an airplane, you faced regular hostility and hateful comments from complete strangers but also from friends and loved ones, your imperfection affected your job prospects NOT because of how you could actually do the job but how people THINK you'd do it, based on your looks ... the list goes on and on.
That's what's on my mind today. And now, you have to excuse me, because I have to go buy a bathing suit so I can go to the hot springs with my colleagues. I wonder if Spanx makes bathing suits?