I have rosacea. My face is always red. It sometimes feels burning, itchy, hot, sensitive. It's triggered by stress, physical exertion, wind, heat, heightened emotions... it makes it difficult to wear makeup (even eye makeup irritates), to exercise, to spend much time outside in the height of summer or winter, to wear hairspray or perfume... the list is fucking endless. My face hurts and looks red all the time.
It's pointed out to me that "I got some sun". All. The. Time. People misread my surge in emotion as being embarrassed when I'm not. I'm rarely if ever embarrassed my much of anything. People think I'm upset because my eyes water a lot when it's just physical sensitivity to everything.
I spent most of my life hating my face. Not because I thought I was unattractive or that any one part of my face was bothersome or 'not pretty' compared to someone else's face. I hated my face because of the comments other people make. I hated my face because it physically hurt.
Body image, or what we're shamed about isn't limited to body size, weight or shape. It's other features too. We're conditioned to feel shame and sensitivity around damn near anything that doesn't match the pressures of society. For me, that was - and often still is - my red face. I hid my face because it is red All. The. Time...
And then it wasn't for a while. I started to manage my stress, remove people and obligations that were toxic to my health, pay attention to the products I used on my skin, and let a lot of shit go that I was holding onto. It didn't go away completely, but it's far less now that it was even a year ago. But it's still there.
Today is a less red day, yesterday was more so. I don't feel better about it because it's less though, I feel better about it because I don't give as many fucks. It is what it is. It's body-neutral.
When the theme of 'red' was the winner in my Patreon for the month's theme, some of those feelings of shame, hurt, frustration, anger, hate... they came back in this session. I wanted to cover my face with my hair, with my hands. I wanted to not do it. I wanted to hide again. So I hid, but this time I documented it. Full red gel lights, red shirt, red backdrop, red face.
So when everything else was so red, my face suddenly wasn't.
Find the full set on Patreon, along with every session from RED, behind the scenes, before & after editing and more HERE.
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