The girl behind the makeup

Dez Brown, Features Manager

In middle school I wondered why my parents and family would lie to me telling me that I was beautiful and an amazing person, because I was convinced that I was ugly and had horrible hair.
Before middle school, I used to be happy with myself, until I started to notice how other girls looked in my classes. They had long, straight hair and had an attitude people seemed to like.
I was a quiet shy girl who was polite. I had big, curly hair and was short and skinny. I didn’t want to be myself . I wanted to be the other girls because they seemed like they had it all together.
I started to spend hours at night straightening my hair and making sure it looked nice enough to go to school. I made sure to brush and brush to get my hair to look a certain way.
For a while I was content with myself by just changing the look of my hair, but my family hated my hair the way I liked it. I didn’t understand why because I thought it looked professional and more mature, rather than my childish big hair.
Also I started to wear makeup because I hated my face, but I had no clue how to put it on correctly at first. That’s when I started to look up random tutorials on YouTube and spend hours practicing the techniques that I learned.
Even though I still felt as though I didn’t look exactly like I wanted to I knew it was the best I could do.
A lot of the time I tried to act like I was okay with everything and that I was self-confident, but behind all of my modifications with myself I was an unhappy girl who just wanted to disappear.
After spending weeks trying to find the answer to make myself like every other girl I knew I was never going to find the answer I wanted. I used this as a way to convince myself that self-mutilation was the only thing that would help me.
The cutting on my arm drug away my atttention from my face and hair. It helped me, but some days my only attention was on my flaws.
My scars disgusted me but I couldn’t help but continue to hurt myself, so I just hid my cuts with makeup and long sleeves. I didn’t let anyone see my scars and I was determined to keep them hidden from my family and friends.
I knew that if they found out something would happen but I never fully understood what they would do. They would be let down and disappointed and I hated to let them down.
It was easy to hide them and easy to remember to cover them up every morning, but sometimes I forgot to. Eventually my mother found them and I wanted to just die at that moment.
It was at dinner and I forgot to put a long shirt on before coming out of my room. So as I was eating she saw the big red mark I had made across my arm.
I tried to convince her it was marker but she wasn’t buying it. That’s when she forced me to talk to her after dinner.
I remember staring into her deep brown eyes as tears rolled down her cheeks. I ended up crying right along with her because I knew I let her down.
She didn’t do anything when she first found out but she threatened to take me to therapy and the “crazy hospital” l if I did it again.
Even after my mother found my scars I continued to do it for a few weeks after just in different spots so she wouldn’t find them.
Once I finally realized that this wasn’t the way to go I forced myself to stop. It was hard at the time, but once I gave it up it became easier as time went by.
It’s been a little over two years since then but I’m still working on keeping up my self-esteem and at times it still gets hard, but those memories are my motivation to continue in the correct path.