Naked Face. Sunshine. And Blinds.  

I can say that finally, at 29, I am comfortable in my own skin. I don’t feel the need to do performative femininity as much. I don’t feel pressured to look “presentable” 24/7. And it’s such a liberating feeling man. My anxiety used to be so high and my self-esteem was so low, that I developed agoraphobia. I avoided public places as much as possible. I would cry if I had to go anywhere in public or where large groups of people were because I didn’t want anyone to see my face (years of bullying/abuse and a society where features like mine, hair like mine, skin tones like mine were seen as less than desirable convinced me that I was ugly, unworthy, undesirable). It was only a few years ago that I started to see beyond the illusion, that I began to see the beauty I had on the outside as well as the inside, as corny as it sounds. Now, most days (outside of events) I just wash and moisturize my face, brush my messy eyebrows, chapstick and go on my way. I still struggle with bouts of insecurity, and make self deprecating jokes about having ‘Ugly Duckling Syndrome’, but overall, I am happy and absolutely in love with myself in a way I’ve never felt before in my life. And it’s much deeper than what my face looks like. Now my hair...that’s a whole nother beast. I still feel the urge to cut it all off, but that’s cuz it’s so high maintenance and I at least 4 hours of prep time. Natural hair folks know my struggle. You know it’s real when you have to schedule an entire day around your hair. 😭🤣❤️