Dating with acne can be hard. People say that dates are about what’s on the inside, but does that really stop you from worrying?
When I was a teenager, I was so greasy I could barely smile. The size of my pimples actually warped my face. I was an obese child too, always sweating. In my mind, no one I liked would go near me.
Then one day I was sitting in the cinema and I heard a couple girls from my class. They were talking about boys, they had no idea I was there. Soon they started on me.
“You know Peter, the one that always spikes his hair?”
Told you I was teenager.
“Yeah, he’s really nice. If he was a little more in shape I’d go out with him.”
The other girls agreed. They actually agreed.
It sounds shallow, but think about what they were saying. I wasn’t cursed or scarred. I wasn’t the prisoner of any stupid face grease. Maybe these girls were right and I was already dating material, I just had to take care of myself.
Ten years later, I’m happy to say they were right. I started walking, then running. I drank water, I ate well, my young metabolism teamed up with my good diet to tear the weight off my belly. My skin got clearer.
Here’s the thing, though. Self-improvement is a long road. For a while my face was blotchy, I was still overweight and I also had many relationships.
I’m afraid this is one of Those Stories. There is no league you can be in or out of, I had incredible and average partners, and the power was in me all along. The power is in you too. It’s all confidence.
A recent survey conducted by research company Harris Interactive shows that most people consider physical appearance very important in relationships, but almost everyone says things are better when their partner is confident in their own appearance. You’re a better catch when you like the way you look than when you actually look good. It’s better to love your blemished face than to hate your movie star looks. A Five Minute Purifying Mask now and then can’t hurt, though.
Still, those bumps of dread are perfectly natural, especially when you’re young. 80% of us worldwide, people of all ethnicities, get acne just in adolescence. There’s a huge chance that your date knows exactly what you’re dealing with. And the other 10%? Well, medically we still don’t know what sorcery got them off the hook.
Despite all this, acne still causes low self-esteem. Nasty cases can leave permanent scars. When young people go through exams, one of the most stressful times in life, many of them say acne is just as stressful.
Isn’t that insane?
Wait, there’s a correlation here. Maybe it’s not pimples that cause stress and low self-image. Maybe low self image and stress cause pimples.
I’ll take that bet. I say it’s better to be happy and pimply. I say it’s best to be happy and take good care of your skin. Do your favourite exercise, drink water, take your supplements and be sure to enjoy yourself. It all starts on the inside, doesn’t it?
Peter Matthews is a runner, weightlifter, lifestyle journo and radical tea drinker who has lost more than 100 kilos in his lifetime. His favourite vitamin is B6, the one that may give you vivid dreams.