Being a teenager comes as a big challenge to many of us out there, let alone one with pimples. Insecurities rise up whenever the word ‘pimple’ is mentioned, be it at home, school or anywhere else.

A person may be told how beautiful she is by nine people, but the moment one person calls her ugly, that will be stuck with her for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that proved to be accurate as I was a victim of bullying in my primary school. I was called names like ugly-ish and so forth. This was affecting me bit by bit to the point where I lost my self-esteem and confidence.

Often, I’d stare at myself on the mirror and tell myself what an ugly, useless and fragile old soul I was. I hated my skin colour and everything about me. I thought maybe if I was more beautiful and light skinned, people would love and respect me. I’d feel my heart burning with resentment at God for ever bringing me into such a ruthless world.

Being so sensitive meant that I was never able to cut myself even though I had an intense desire to do so. Sometimes I wished to commit suicide and most nights I’d cry myself to sleep.

Then one day, a youth outing was arranged at my church. The guest speaker who was invited asked us how much each of us would sell the other if we had to. Some of us were shouting random answers but the girl who was to say my price tag remained quiet for a while. After people had calmed down she then said, “Courage is priceless”. I was mortified, to me, having a complete stranger say something like that about me was a total shock. Me, the outcast, the ugly one, – that was priceless. It was certainly not something I had expected to hear in a million years.

The speaker then went on to say: “To have a beautiful spirit is when the kindness and goodness of a person shines through on the outside.” He told us that we each were worth more than we could ever imagine and that we all were here for a purpose.

I felt ecstasy burning inside me and all of a sudden I could see the end of the tunnel. Guiltily, I started thinking of all the body imperfections I sometimes watched on TLC. I realised just how blessed I was just to be able to walk, talk, touch and to just be able to do anything I loved to do.

The fire to become more of myself has never stopped blazing. I love and embrace my melanin and I no longer care about what people think of me. I’ve also come to understand that beauty is not only something that can be seen but felt too. I’m always willing to look on the positive side of life and to find the silver lining in every situation. To me, this day was a defining moment, an ‘aha’ moment! And so, this is my story, my path to a successful, love- and joy-filled future.


Tell us: What do you think about people who make fun of other people’s looks?