Dating is hard for everyone, especially with all the deceiving social media and filters and apps. For some people, the current state of online matchmaking is so traumatizing they’re swearing off dating altogether.
19-year-old Abigail Collins has completely refused to date due to her fear of being called a “catfish” over the amount of makeup she wears to hide her cystic acne. Collins, who has been suffering from severe acne since the age of 10, spends two hours every morning applying concealer and foundation to her face to mask her breakouts.
Collins told Daily Mail,
I’ve struggled to get into relationships as I was so self-conscious about my skin and how it looked, especially to someone romantically, so I tried, and still do, to avoid this.
I don’t date purely because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a catfish or that I’m not being honest about the way I look. It’s so difficult to understand and see how another person interprets you.
Collins explained that as she began reaching puberty, her acne started to appear. By 2014, she developed cystic acne and it began to spread over her entire face. She said that some of the breakouts have left her with life-long scarring. Collins said the ordeal has severely affected her childhood.
‘Growing up it was very difficult to accept my skin and do normal teenage things.
Some days, Collins would show up to school late because she wanted to make sure her entire face was covered—hiding all of her acne from the world.
I felt like I had to wear make-up every day for school and I was often late because I had to make sure everything was covered, so it would take me one or two hours to get ready.
In school I felt as if nobody wanted to associate themselves with me because of the way I looked, which meant I had very few friends and a poor social life at this point in my life.
Throughout school, Collins was bullied because of her skin and felt that she always needed to cover it up in order to fit in. But after moving away to attend college, she began to feel more comfortable leaving the house make-up free.
Collins noticed that no one cared how she looked and around her second year in university, she stopped wearing makeup to classes and lectures.
I realised that none of the people around me noticed my skin to a great extent. Also, being a student doesn’t leave you with a huge amount of time to get ready in the mornings either, so I made myself skip make-up some mornings and then it became more frequent.
Now, it’s rare I wear any to university. If I’m going out somewhere nice with friends or family, then I will wear make-up, but if it’s just to do something casual like going to the supermarket, then I will skip it.
Collins has also used Instagram as a way to connect with others who are undergoing similar struggles and skin issues. She frequently shares all-natural photos online, trying to inspire those who felt as uncomfortable and ashamed as she did at a young age.
Instagram has helped me so much as I’ve seen so many other people who look like me and made me feel less alone. It’s nice to be able to chat to people about how I’m feeling or how our skin is doing that day, which is something you can’t discuss with most people.
I hope to show others that acne doesn’t define you and that you’re never as alone as you feel. There are always people out there who can relate and understand what you are going through and can support you.
h/t: Daily Mail