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Getting comfortable in my skin

A Body Story #5

"I had confidence issues around my skin when I was a teenager and young adult. Thankfully I never had acne, but I really felt conscious of having pale skin and freckles.

I guess the media messaging at the time was all about having a tan, which I could never achieve. Especially in the summer, being pale (pasty) seemed ugly. I would rarely wear a skirt or shorts for fear of my too-white legs, and even worse, freckled skin.

Ironically when I was older, I travelled to many countries where skin-bleaching is common amongst women who sadly have gotten a message that there is something wrong with their lovely brown skin. It would almost make me laugh thinking of girls in Ireland trying to brown themselves up with fake tan lotions. But really it's just sad that so many girls and women get the message to literally not feel comfortable in their own skin.

I also have a small birth mark on my upper arm, which seemed to me as the most noticeable thing in the world for many years.

As a teenager I used to purposely wear t-shirts that would cover it, and avoid wearing anything sleeveless.

Now I think nothing of it. In fact I find it to be a curious little stamp unique to me.

Or maybe it’s even the map of a mysterious island where my long lost tribe resides.

I guess I must be finally comfortable in my own skin."

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