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I’ve repressed the exact year (most photos have been ritually burned) but unfortunately it was the mid-‘90s, when every white girl was rocking chalky matte foundation that fell somewhere on the color spectrum between the Pillsbury Doughboy and Brad Pitt in .Every morning I would apply this ghostly paint to my eruptions, only to find that by the end of school it had melted off — perhaps warmed by the layers of salicylic acid lingering from my nightly Oxy pad ritual?It took me a long time to stop being so afraid of showing my face.My skin has plateaued somewhat, which has helped, but at 36 I still stash benzoyl peroxide treatments in what should be my “sexy” drawer, and often push my husband away lest he try to kiss me and catch a taste of whatever acidic serum I’ve just applied.
Sure, my skin was always dry and flaking (or slick and shiny, always a toss-up), but as long as I had my arsenal of products I could hide in plain sight.
Had they thought England a golden land in a golden age?
Some had, with their quaint amalgam of American optimism and African innocence.
What I don’t do much anymore is go to great lengths to conceal my natural skin, aside from some redness-balancing moisturizer and translucent powder.
I will always long for a flawless complexion, but I’m not willing to battle forever in Sisyphean pursuit of that elusive, genetically unlikely Moby Dick. Maybe I’m flaunting my enlarged pores in the face of the patriarchy like the combination-skinned feminist I am! I want to greet the day with my shiny forehead and blemished chin and say, proudly — to my husband, to Beyoncé, to the world!
But these had already been partially disillusioned by Flight Lieutenant J. Smythe, a native of Sierra Leone and now a member of the Colonial office Welfare Department. One of them considered his chances in Britain (he was a builder), and said laconically, "If I survive - so good; if I don't survive - so good." Another, lacking this philosophy, said with a bitterness unusual in the company, "When the situation is desperate you take a chance - you don't wait until you die." This man has been idle two years.