When the Volcanoes Erupt

It’s the time of the xxx again…! Time of what you might wonder.

Yes… my dear readers… the time when my face decides that it would like to erupt into clusters of tiny volcanoes. Argh… it’s so unsightly, and I really hate to look into the mirror first thing in the morning!

My first encounter with acne was when I was about 14 or 15. I can still remember one girl coming up to me, looking quizzically at my face and said,

    "What happened to your face?"

And I just did not know what to say. And the journey has since continued. I have, or more accurately I should say, my mum has spent thousands on solving my acne problem. But… unfortunately, it seems to be here to stay.

I have met so many people who have been scarred by their acne problems. And theirs are worse than mine. They have everlasting scars on their face. And usually with deep scarring, it’s not only physical but emotional as well.

Know of this friend. He’s actually a fantastic guy with a lovely personality. Some of you will be like… "Hmm ok, I can see where this is heading."

Ok, yes… he does not have the best of complexion. And well… he’s slightly on the plump side. He’s not fat or anything, just has a few extra kgs. But seriously, he’s like one of the nicest and friendliest person I have ever known. I said jokingly to him. "Hey… why don’t you give my service a try?" And he sounded quite keen initially. But when he knew that it was a blind date, he was quite surprised…

    "You mean you won’t be showing her a photo of me prior to the meeting?"

"Of course not, it’s a blind date!" "But what if she sees me and she gets scared and run away." I was like… "Hello? You are not a monster ok?"

But to him, his appearance has posed to be a disadvantage. And he probably has suffered ridicule and even missed out on job opportunities because he’s not as good-looking or as presentable as others.

It’s sad, but it’s very true. I used to think that I am very ugly. Not that I think that I am Miss Universe now. :) But you get my drift.

And the reason I used to think so is because my friends kept telling me about all these other pretty girls that they are interested in. About how big their eyes are (Lucky me, I have single eyelid slanty Oriental eyes :) ), how high their perky noses are (Erm, my nose is quite flat), and their cute rosebud mouths (My lips are like fat sausages!)… As you can see, I did not exactly have the highest of self-esteem in high school.

I always lamented about the fact how unfair life is. How all the pretty girls get all the attention. How "plain Jane(s)" like me just have to stand around, smile and pretend that it’s all ok. How I have to work so much harder when all the pretty girls need to do is just to bat their eyelashes and ‘Voila!’ I just could not get over it. I was just so angry!

But one day, all of a sudden, I decided to take responsibility. I decided that the world is not going to change the way it thinks. But I can change the way I think. And that changed everything.

Everybody is beautiful in their own way. We are just programmed genetically to look at beautiful people. I mean why else would magazine covers be filled with them? We appreciate beauty, be it good looking people, nature’s beauty or even a beautiful painting. There’s no point fighting the system.

I decided to be who I am. On days that I feel down about my appearance (when the volcanoes erupt), there’s always something call makeup! :) And on other days, I just be myself. I do not need to aspire be the most beautiful. Or the slimmest. Or the one with the best complexion. I can just be me. Big red pimples and all. :)

Because only when I can accept myself, people will be able to accept me.

And now, if only I convince my friend to believe that.

Ever been the ugly duckling? How did you overcome that and turn into that "beautiful swan"? Or are you on the flip side? You just wish that people would look beyond your beautiful appearance and like you for who you are inside? Share with us your thoughts.

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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10 Comments

  1. People will often make judgements about how from the way you look because sometimes that is the only information they have to form an opinion about you. If they do not bother to find out deeper than that … then I guess not much point to knowing them is there? Hehe … people are different, you cannot win them all. Like you said, just be yourself and things should fall into place. Hopefully.

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  2. I confess I’ve never had acne problems, so I can’t honestly say that I understand exactly how you felt. But I can totally identify with your sentiment about pretty girls getting all the attention. I felt exactly the same way before (ok, sometimes I feel it now too).

    If appearances weren’t important, why would people groom themselves so well? The only difference now is that most girls do it for themselves, rather than to attract guys. Intent may be different but result is the same! :)

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  3. Loong-
    Hey, I agree with your point on… there’s the only information that they have to make the judgement. And that is why, in order to stand a better chance, we just have to learn to ‘play the game’. Present ourselves better – be it our apperance or letting our personality shine! :)

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  4. Kea-
    Haha! Thanks for dropping by!
    I think at the end of the day… we do dress well for ourselves, but at the same time, we dress well because of others’ perception of us.
    I mean, if we are truly just dressing for ourselves, I would just go out togged in my T-shirt and shorts and slippers (which I still do sometimes), but all of us have a certain image to upkeep… :)
    As you say, as much as we might want to deny it or justify it, appearance is important be it in a social or a business environment.

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  5. Me? What you see is what you get, and if you don’t like what you see then… it’s your loss. LOL! :D

    I hope your ‘problems’ will soon subside, Violet. :D

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  6. hey! Jovis said that my eyes are like yours – cannot be forced to have double eyelids even with tape!

    maybe can use toothpicks…

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  7. Hi S-
    Hey! So you went for the makeup class! :) Well done! Must meet up with you soon to see the effects! :)

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  8. let me know some time in advance – i havent’ realyl been usign much make up…*shy smile*

    oh – i also tried paddington pancakes – what a wonderful yummy place!

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  9. S-

    What-la you! If you don’t practise how to improve? :)

    Yay… yummy yummy pancakes! Just had it again last Sunday. :)

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  10. when you having pancakse with me? :)

    then i make the effort to practice :D

    and maybe go to bodhi sense there as well :D

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