WARNING: This article may have a hint of narcissism. It’s the only way to get my very important message on self-improvement across.
It’s amazing to see how the wonders of modern medicine create beautiful people. But also equally amazing is the amount of criticism this industry gets from traditional thinkers. Just this evening, I’ve heard someone say “ano ba yan, puro retoke na sila… hindi na mukhang natural. Hindi maganda!” after seeing Keana Reeves on the news undergoing cosmetic treatment.
Once in a while I take a step back and see myself a few years ago when I barely had an ounce of confidence to even exist in the social realm. It was too bad back then that I succumbed to self-pity and became anti-social. Tonight I had this flashback again, and decided to share how modern medical science has helped me get through some of the hardest times brought about by physical defects.
Years ago, I had 2 of probably the worst physical flaws that could’ve brought me to the grave out of desperation:
My acne was too bad that people took pity on me. I remember my adviser saying “naku Rain, pa’no yan?” when she was scheduling me for my yearbook portrait. My mom’s former boss once asked what’s wrong with my skin when I cheerfully greeted him. Yun pala, my forehead was bleeding because a big pimple popped and I didn’t even know about it! Even the first dermatologist I’ve met exclaimed “naku, baka magkabutas-butas yan mukha mo.”
Another very difficult problem was my teeth. I had it bad I was like a walking bungo. My teeth were healthy and in the normal number of 32. Problem is, they were too big and too ‘forward’. The school hallways always rang “rabbit season!” whenever I passed by. The world was mean, and the greatest insult was when one of my former crushes stared at my teeth and shouted “Waaah! Ngipeeen!”
I was insecure.
Treating my pimples was funny. People had varied opinions and it was crazy! Here are some of the things I’ve heard:
“Wag ka kasing maghilamos. Ganyan talaga pag masyadong malinis ang mukha.”
“Yung unang ihi mo sa umaga, ihilamos mo.”
“Magpahid ka ng aloe vera”
“Huwag kang magpahid ng aloe vera”
“Simple lang dapat ang sabon – Perla.” (Perla stung like hell, by the way)
“Gumamit ka ng sulphur soap” (pimple quantities double the week after using sulphur soap)
“Mag-ProActiv ka… mura lang, P3,000.00.” (as a student a decade ago, this money was a heap!)
…and many more!
I thank God for giving me a mother whose principle in life is “Yang mukha mo ang puhunan mo sa buhay.” She sent me to top dermatologist Dr. Tess Ferrariz. For a good P500.00, Doc Tess gave me a set of medications consisted of cleansing soap, erythromycin solution, clarifying lotion and acne lotion. In a few months, they were gone.
This started my crusade for proper skin care. It helped me.
(see posts entitled “The Price of Beauty…” and “The 5 Essential Points of Skin Cae”
I have endured everything that comes with bad teeth (tuksuhan, self-pity, you name it!) a little close to a decade, and 4 years just to correct that. I had braces. It was painful and it wasn’t pretty, but my gorgeous orthodontist Dr. Lucia Macaranas – Aguilar always told me that if it’s beautiful teeth I’m after, I have to go through the works and the expenses (which, by the way, would cost a regular worker about 6-months worth of wages at that time). I even had 4 teeth extracted just for the treatment!
She was right. As of this time, I never had a single speck of regret of going through the treatment.
Braces are intimidating. They don’t look pretty or cute, and the hurt like hell! Having them on is one of those “sanayan lang yan” cases. I always had a minimum of 3 canker sores at any given time, my smile was wide as an ark, and kissing was definitely a challenge.
Days before my college graduation, I had them removed. The first sign of success was when my bestfriend Jonathan said I had a really good smile already. This coming from one of my sharpest and strongest critics.
It was so exciting I spent much on regular cleaning and whitening that, for a time, I felt perfect and ready to face the world.
This was before any treatment was done. I looked funny hahaha!
Those teeth were huge!
When I had my braces, I normally had the insides of my mouth bleeding at least once a week!
After the treatments, I felt better and more confident. Not perfect, but better.
Now, in my quest to inspire others to build themselves into confident and beautiful people, I would say that modern ways of physical treatments are a great resource and they really help. They are expensive. They are painful. But they mean a lifetime of confidence.