Wednesday, April 04, 2007
This is Diana
I interviewed Diana over watermelon pieces and rose hip tea at my place on Friday night. This is a verbatim transcript of her story.
SV: What scars do you have?
Diana: I have scars on my face from very bad acne. Very severe acne that would not let up, even way after puberty. [drinks watermelon juice].
SV: What's it been like for you to have these scars?
Diana: It has definitely... [pause] what comes to me is that they have helped me learn to love myself. I mean, mind you that's a long time coming, but... they're permanent signs of how much I didn't like the way I looked. And now when I look at myself, it's been so long since I've had that problem because i took acutane --
SV: Sorry, what is that?
Diana: It's a very heavy medication that you take for 3 months and it changes the biochemical structure of your face so that you do not get acne but it's so strong...that you can't drink and if you get pregnant it'll cause a dwarfed baby so you have to have an abortion -- you have to go on the pill when you take it. So I did that because I just, I had enough. I had tried everything from creams to gells to antibiotics. So I took it for three months and I did. My last pill I remember I took when I went on my first trip to Cancun and I was like "Yay I'm free!" because I hadn't been able to drink for three months, not even on NY's
But I still had scars. I had severe scarring. But I was told that it takes time -- the meds stay in your system for a year and then they will fade. So I would burn my face. Even though you're not supposed to, I would go tanning I just wanted to burn everything off so I wouldn't put on sunscreen because I wanted to burn it all off. And slowly, over the year, they started to fade, the scars. And I actually enjoy looking at myself in the mirror anymore. No more acne, it was all just scars I didn't have to worry about. And I think maybe a year later, it was a huge difference.
I think with the scars, in a way... I had pretty good self-esteem considering, at the time. So I think it made me look at myself in the eyes more -- I would avoid looking at my face i would look into my eyes more. And I had to see myself, because I didn't think I was fully ugly, I thought 'No, I'm a pretty girl -- it's just these...' So I think that helped me look at msyelf deeper and see more beauty in myself to some degree. So when my exterior [touches face] started to fade, I saw yeah I am beautiful. I got to the point where I couldn't remember what it was like to have the [initial] scars because it had faded so much.
SV: So when are you most aware of these scars?
Diana: There are days now when it stands out for me. The days when I'm feeling fat or bloated or I'm getting my period... I look at them and I say, "wow, I can't believe what I went through" and I remember looking at my face and going "Fuck, this is brutal!" But then there are times when I do look at myself and think "Wow, I'm beautiful."
SV: What do these scars mean to other people? What kind of reactions do you get from other people about them?
Diana: Well now, a lot of people... it's not really... My mom and my sister they're like, "Oh my god, thank god! What you
went through with all those scars!" So I think it had a very huge impact on my mom and my sister. It's like I was wearing this mask of ugliness that they looked at. I think they saw the exterior more than the inside and it's funny how it helped me look inside more. And now my mom will be like, "Wow, look how beautiful you are!" It really affected me in that it made me put a lot of effort into making myself look better. You know, going to the gym, doing my hair. Now people don't really comment so much on my acne. Now it's just me. I would always think people were looking at my scars.
SV: Can you talk a bit about the process you underwent today?
Diana: Microdermabrasion. From my gorgeous friend J---. She's absolutely stunningly beautiful. She does everything. This woman. Every treatment. She keeps her body, you know, top-notch. So I heard about microdermabrasian and I said, "Listen, for my birthday I want that!" and I went. And as they're shaving -- they literally shave off my face -- it was like I was being reborn in a way. It was like: that mask, it's time to come off. I think I was hiding myself. Hiding my beauty from the world. And there's a part of me that's almost afraid to let it out. 'Cause I get so much of a reaction now that it's like: what's going to happen when I'm really all done up.
SV: What kind of reaction do you get now?
Diana: Just, um, people stare and you know. Almost every guy will hit on me, that I meet. And almost in a way, it makes me feel bad to turn people down. In a way I can't wait 'til I get married. And I think you just have to kind of get used to people looking at you.... But yeah I feel like it's really time to take off the mask and really let myself shine thorugh. And now I'm excited. I asked the woman what would be her plan to clear it all up... I said, what would you do? And she gave me a six week plan for six week. And I almost was like: I really wanna do it. I really wanna do it. So I'm seeing if I can afford it or find someone else, cheaper. It's time to let go of the part of me that's afraid to come out. I am so afraid to come out into the world, in a way. What are they gonna think of me?
It's time for me to be myself in the world and not to hide behind any mask anymore. Behind anything. And it's all good timing -- in the past it wasn't time for me to be in that world in that way. And now, I see my physical transforming in a way and -- this is nothing. It's amazing what's gonna happen you know? As it continues to happen. Even like after, you know, after I cry. People look at me and are like "What did you do different?" There's a part of me that's afraid to be vulnerable in the world. Like how am I going to protect myself? The more I feel safe, the more it'll come out and...