Thursday I was in to get Todd's broken glasses replaced. The eyeglass place I use is pretty much stocked with impossibly thin and darling babes. One of them in particular is especially cute, and also genuinely sweet. I thought about it the last time I was in there. I thought about it again this time because she is!... just terribly pretty and nice too. Helpful and friendly.
But while I was standing there waiting, she and some of her co-workers were having an ongoing conversation: A customer who had left the store a little earlier had asked her if something had bitten her on the face. She had a little cluster of acne on one cheek, that to me looked like nothing but acne, but apparently some caring customer with the wrong eye prescription or something, had expressed concern.
And she was beyond distressed!
"I KNOW I have terrible acne!" she said, "I don't need to have it pointed it out to me!!"
The other employees were commiserating.
She held out her hands to show them she was so upset her hands were trembling. She talked about how much make-up she was going to have to wear from there on out (even though she had it on there thick already)...On and on...and on some more. One of the customers heard and empathized and gave their horror stories from bygone days...they all agreed the person who asked her the question was unbelievably rude. She managed to say all this and still be endearing, which is an almost impossible fete. If anybody else had tried it it would have been nauseating.
I didn't say anything, but I felt incredible sympathy for her, (a little for the dear departed customer, too) and disdain for a system that holds bodily perfection on a pedestal so high that to fall from it will crush you.
I wished somehow she could know that her sweet personality and charm altogether overwhelmed that bit of acne on her cheek.
I also thought about the almost constant presence of acne on my face, since I was a teen, which was a very long time ago...with no make-up to camouflage its presence. Sometimes it bothers me...but seldom. It bothers me mostly when people make it a point of conversation. And they do, occasionally. They mean well. But it means they're thinking about it, and if other people are thinking about it and let you know they're thinking about it, it's easy to feel self-conscious.
But I won't let it bother me anymore. I refuse. I learned in 15 minutes how sad and pathetic it is to invest anxiety in your looks when your spirit and disposition totally eclipse your appearance, if you let them....if you yourself refuse to assign yourself worth based on the veneer that covers the true you: your heart and soul.
I learned the comments only have power over you if you choose to own them.
And I learned something else. Never ask a girl if something bit her on the face.