Natasha Medlar presents the fourth of our TRUTH Series; the focus of the fourth segment being discovering self-love. In this segment we will hear from numerous diverse, empowering people who will each share their own personal stories on their journey in discovering self-love. I pray this segment inspires and empowers many people whom come across it and that it also helps give strength to those facing the same or a similar obstacle at present.
“My intentions for all various segments of the TRUTH series is to educate others who may not be aware of such issues, whether it’s because it has never been a challenge they themselves have faced, to educate those whom are aware but choose to ignore the issue/s and lastly to help encourage others in being brave in speaking out. As we know, knowledge is key.” – Natasha
I would like to introduce you to our second guest, Gabriela. Gabriela who is originally from Los Angeles, currently resides in Las Vegas and has done so for the past 15 years. She is a skin positivity artist who is passionate about self-love, self-acceptance and normalising acne. Here’s Gabriela’s empowering story.
Hi, my name is Gabriela and I am passionate about self-love and acceptance. However, this wasn’t always the case for me. I have struggled with many insecurities throughout my life. My weight, my teeth, my itty bitty breasts, you name it…. but nothing felt as devastating as developing adult acne.
At that time I was practicing self-love and acceptance, or at least my version of it, but, nothing had forced me to dig deeper as my journey with acne did. It really felt like I woke up to it, with no warning. I felt defeated and ugly. I feared people would think I was “dirty”. Family members and even strangers waiting in lines have pointed my skin out to me. To this day, that still happens. Unsolicited advice is hurtful and uncomfortable. Some of the questions and comments leave me speechless.
How can someone be so comfortable in asking about MY SKIN? Do they not stop to think about my feelings? What their words are really doing? The stigma and misinformation about acne we, as a society have collected over the years is really hurtful to those of us still in the deep end of our journey. It’s time for people to realise that despite our visible skin conditions, we are deserving of love, kindness and most importantly worthy of respect.
Acne and depression went hand in hand for me. I cancelled play dates with my mom friends, I didn’t volunteer in my son’s classroom because I feared the brutal honesty of school aged kids. I struggled letting my partner kiss my face, or look at me for a second too long. I felt ashamed. My bumpy red skin wasn’t something anyone was openly talking about. Not to mention I didn’t see people with skin like mine when I left the house. That was incredibly hard to cope with.
One day, my sweet partner said something to me that really sparked some thoughts in me. It was on a day my skin was particularly inflamed, and my spirits were low. He assured me, he loved me for ME. He loved my righteous heart, my kindness etc. He said he didn’t see my breakouts, he just saw ME. His words were enough to lift my spirits that day and carry me on for another while.
A few weeks later, I stumbled across a few skin positivity pages on Instagram, and that was the beginning of my self-love awakening. Suddenly, it made sense! I was able to find beauty in these amazing individuals, sharing their story online, I didn’t have to try hard. I genuinely thought they were so beautiful, so cool and it finally clicked! If I could see beauty in them, why couldn’t I see beauty and worth in MYSELF too? I had lived ashamed of my skin for a long time and it didn’t feel good. It was time to try a different approach. I started telling little “self-love lies” out loud. Like affirmations, but I didn’t know that’s what they were yet.
Months later, one of my siblings introduced me to the law of attraction. That was life changing for me. “If you want people to think you’re beautiful, you must first believe it yourself.” -Leeor Alexandra. I was armed with enough faith in the universe, self-respect and little self-love lies that eventually became my reality. It was like a switch was flicked and I was finally able to see ME despite what my skin was doing.
I am forever grateful for our ability to change our perspective, because perspective changes EVERYTHING. Growing up, I heard adults in my life complain about getting older. Wrinkles, cellulite, being undesirable and I feared my thirties sooo badly. I worried about getting older in my 20s. How I wished someone had told me it was going to be okay, because I’m now in my thirties and I haven’t felt so ME, as I do today. Acne and all, I’m still me.
I truly believe that if I had found someone living their best life with skin like mine, my journey would have been a lot easier. Now that my mind and heart are healthier, I find joy in being that support for those who are still in the dark stages of their journey.