When I decided to start writing about beauty I chose to focus on nails because, although I was just as excited by make up and skincare, I saw this as a great way to talk about beauty without having to show my face to the world.
I have rosacea, a skin condition that means my face is always red and can flare up at any time. I never leave the house without make up and the thought of sharing photos of my bare skin used to fill me with dread. So what changed?
Earlier today I read a wonderful article on twitter. You should read it, but for the lazy/time limited ones among you, the basic premise is that if your response to something isn’t to say ‘hell yes’ then it should be a ‘no’. This may seem reactive and excessive, and at first it petrified me as I am very much the type of person who has always dwelled in the grey area. In the past I thrived on the intricacies, the confusion, the up-in-the-air aspect of the grey area.
Yesterday I woke up and did what I always do: I checked twitter. Commuter woes, politics, bad puns, cat photos… the usual. Then I saw that someone had retweeted this utter load of piffle into my timeline:
So, without even thinking, I reacted:
When I first moved to London, my parents were constantly asking me if I was safe. They would ask me about my neighbourhood, what the buses and trains were like, how I got home at night, how many people were around if I was walking home late. They worried. I had lived in big cities before but London is a different beast. I think it’s because it’s more faceless: it’s famous for being a city of individuals who are wrapped up in their own affairs. My mother pictured me getting mugged on a dark street and being stepped over by locals annoyed at being inconvenienced by my body on the floor.
So it came as a surprise to her that the first time I felt truly frightened since I moved here over 4 years ago was on a brightly lit train, at 9 in the morning, surrounded by people.
Photo by @technicallyaaron (instagram)
I wasn’t going to write a blog post about this. I have published personal stuff about my health on the blog before, but it’s always been beauty related (e.g. my rosacea updates). But this is something else. And it’s so personal and so hard to talk about that I didn’t think I was going to talk about it. But the past week has made me feel so angry, frustrated and helpless that I don’t know how else to deal with what is happening. I wanted to talk about my surgery and why I feel let down by my surgeon.