You are Beautiful. Really Truly.

You are beautiful.

You are worthwhile.

You are perfect.

You’re not too fat. You’re not too skinny. You’re not too blonde. You’re not too brown. You’re not too pale. You’re not ugly.
Your freckles are cute.

You’re nose is not too big. Your lips are not too thin. Your hair is not too flat, or too bushy, or straight or frizzy or curly.

I’d bet money your eyes are fricken glorious.

Your breasts are not too small. Your pecks are not too flat. Your arms are not too flabby. Your butt is not too big. Your eyelashes are fine the way they are. Your cheeks are like glow-in-the-dark roses. Your smile is not too dull; it’s brilliant. Your eyelids look fantastic flesh-colored.

Your skin is perfect. Your dark spots don’t contract from your beauty. Your acne doesn’t reflect your character. Your scars don’t detract from your personality. Your imperfections make you interesting.

My skin is not blemish-free. In fact, it’s the worst its ever been in my entire lifetime, including those pesky pubescent years. My skin is… I’ll say it, horrible. So much acne. So many acne scars, pock marks, blotches, and bumps litter the surface of my head you’d think it was the surface of the moon. The doctors I’ve seen say that some of it will clear up in time, some of it with medication, and the rest with lasers.

The first thing I thought when the doctor said lasers was no way. No way, Jose! (Or whatever your name happens to be.) But then I went to visit my family who I hadn’t seen in a year. While there, three people confronted me about my acne. The first was a stranger who asked my how I had scarred my face. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. At first I thought I had somehow unknowingly scratched it on something, like a tree branch. But then the truth slowly dawned on me, and my stomach sunk to my knees. Awkward and uncomfortable silence followed. No one said anything else.

The second person was my grandpa, who just made a comment on it out of concern. The last was my grandmother, bless her good-intentioned heart. That probably made me feel the worst. She had an at-length conversation about it, asking me questions: had I seen a doctor? do I have any medication? what am I doing about it? On and on, turning my face one way and then the other to inspect my cheeks. Oh awkward grandma, how you embarrass me. But I still love you.

It was about at that point I started getting really self-conscious about it. It seemed that on every commercial break was some ad about Proactive, Skin ID, Flawless Finish Foundation, Skin Perfecting something or other. I’ve seen these commercials all my life, it feels, but they’ve never stuck with my like this.

It’s not fun, the feeling of inadequacy. I was seriously considering the lasers.

Well, that was a few months ago, and now I’m back to Screw That. So what if my face isn’t as smooth as a baby’s bottom? Who cares if its not the supple flesh of a summer peach? I’ll tell you who cares: Assholes care.

Girls down at the watering hole giving you the once over? Are their eyes fixating on that giant angry volcano erupting hellfire from your nose? Who cares. Seriously. What does it matter? Some people just need to look down onto other to feel better about themselves.

Don’t worry about it. Does one, or two, or ten zits on your face make you a horrible person? No. Are they going to plaster a giant red Z for zit on your jacket? I don’t think so. Will your zit somehow cause the Earth to line up with the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and start the zombie apocalypse that will kill us all at the end of this year? Dear god, I hope not. Imma say a tentative no. I’ll get back to you on that by New Years.

And if a guy (or girl) is going to dismiss you, stand you up, or diss you because of a few red bumps, then he wasn’t your knight in shining armor to begin with. He was just some punk in an aluminum foil hat.

If people don’t like you for exactly who you are, then they’re not worth being around. Friends are supposed to be there to support one another. If they’re not supporting you, they’re not your friend.

A very wise man once said that he wished we could all judge each other not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our characters. Even though I know Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about something very different, I think the spirit of what he said still holds; I’m just adding another color to the spectrum: red and blotchy.

As for me, I’m not getting the laser treatment. I don’t need it. I don’t care if my face never entirely clears up. I am already beautiful.