Growing up, I always had these dark spots all over my body.
My skin was sensitive to anything. I would always pick at my scabs on my legs and arms or even scratch my mosquito bites. At one point I got chicken pox and my skin got worse than ever before. More dark spots started appearing on my skin and my skin looked horrifying.
People always asked me as a little kid why or how I had some many dark spots on my skin. I would always tell them the same thing, “Oh it’s just mosquito bites.” All of their responses would be the same, “Those are a lot of mosquito bites.”
Everywhere I went, people constantly asked me about my dark marks. After some time I started to feel embarrassed, ashamed, and ugly because of the dark marks that appeared. I stopped wearing shorts at a young age and wore more pants and capris.
In elementary school, many of my classmates made fun of me for my dark spots. They called me a Dalmatian like it was a fun nickname. I never told my parents or siblings about the remarks because I didn’t think they could do anything about it.
One day in middle school, I got the courage to wear shorts, but that was a big mistake. The questions started coming from my teachers and classmates about my dark spots. They would ask “Does it hurt?” “How did you get so many?” and “What caused that to happen?” I just started to feel embarrassed again and I finally went to my mom because I was tired of the people always asking me about my skin.
I went to a dermatologist and he gave me a cream to help fade away my dark spots. After some time I could tell that the dark spots were starting to fade, but the cream wasn’t too healthy for someone my age.
I stopped using the cream and didn’t have anything else to use. I officially lost all confidence in myself. I didn’t think I was pretty because I didn’t have skin like the rest of my classmates.
I would wear long pants all the time because I didn’t want my teammates or the people in the stands to see my legs.
Eventually I couldn’t wear the long sleeve stuff anymore because it started to get hot outside. During one track meet, a lot of my teammates asked me about my skin and I gave them the same response I gave everyone. “It’s just mosquito bites.”
I hated having people come up to me about my skin, but at that meet I was so angry that I used all my anger in my race and won. After a while, I started to just put everything I had into track.
I was still self-conscious about my arms and legs, but I was more focused on winning. I started to progress over the years in track in middle school and started to fall in love with the sport.
As I got in high school, my self-esteem went even lower. Girls were showing off their pretty skin and all I would wear was capris so no one could see my skin. I still did not want people to look at my skin because it was ugly in my opinion.
I would wear short sleeve shirts and people still asked me about my skin. I didn’t think I would ever have beautiful skin like everyone else because I didn’t see any changes in my skin.
Even during track season I still wore long clothing as long as possible to hide my skin. Once it got hot, I always had to expose my skin, but this time not many people asked about my skin. I started to feel comfortable at track practices during my first year of high school.
I wore short sleeve clothing once my freshman year and I thought I made the biggest mistake because so many people looked at my skin with disgust and I just didn’t even want to be at school. After a while I just kept hiding my skin, but during track season I escaped from all of my problems.
Finally, during my junior year, I was known as the “track star” at my school. This boosted my confidence a lot. Many people did not pay attention to my skin, they paid attention to my talent.
Even though I still got questions about my skin, I didn’t care anymore. Nothing could take away how much recognition I was getting for track. My passion for the sport was steadily growing and I couldn’t be any happier.
I lacked confidence until my senior year. I was still known for track, but I started to drift away from longer clothing to shorter clothing. I was able to start using a product that would help my skin and I was actually seeing a change. Some of my dark spots were clearing up and training for track was going very well.
One person helped me a lot with building my confidence. He never questioned me about my skin and always made me feel beautiful no matter what. He never focused on my skin, but the person that I was. I am truly thankful that God has allowed me to meet such a wonderful person because he has helped me a lot with building my confidence.
I am a sophomore in college now and my confidence has only increased. I have been trying a lot of new stuff to help my skin and I am so happy that the products are working. I am going to my track meets feeling confident and the only thing on my mind is my race, not my skin or what anyone has to say about it.
If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self then I would. I would tell her to not lose her self-esteem about her skin, but to build confidence from it. Your skin is what makes you different from others.
Flaws and all you’re still beautiful. Your imperfections make you the person that you are today.
God has created us all different for a reason and to look like someone else wasn’t his plan for me. My flaws have helped me realize a lot about myself. I’ve grown tremendously as a person and I am happy for my flaws.
I have embraced my flaws, because no matter what, in God’s eyes I am still beautiful.