A student doesn’t date anyone for fear of unintentionally catfishing someone over her acne.
Abigail Collins, 19, first started noticing breakouts on her face when she was just 10 years old, but over the years these breakouts became more frequent until she was eventually diagnosed with cystic acne.
The student, from Glasgow, Scotland, used to spend up to two hours doing her makeup every day before school in an attempt to hide her acne – something which often made her late.
A sales advisor and criminology student, Abigail credits moving to university for helping her leave the house without makeup on for the first time in years.
After enduring years of bullying, negative comments and staring from others due to the severity of her acne, Abigail now avoids dating because she doesn’t want people to accuse her of catfishing and hiding her true appearance.
The 19-year-old explained:
I tried to avoid school sometimes as I felt ugly and like the elephant in the room, which took its toll on me socially as I struggled to make friends since I wasn’t always there. Even now I struggle to make friends as I’m self-conscious over the way they see me.
I’ve even struggled to get into relationships as I was so self-conscious about my skin and how it looked, especially to someone romantically, so I tried, and still do, to avoid this.
I don’t date purely because I don’t want anyone to think I’m a catfish or that I’m not being honest about the way I look. It’s so difficult to understand and see how another person interprets you.
Growing up, Abigail was the only person she knew of with acne so she often felt like the ‘elephant in the room’, with her low self-confidence making it difficult to make friends.
So much so, the thought of moving to university filled her with dread in case she continued to be bullied over superficial matters. As a result of this, she skipped lectures for a while but soon realised no one cared how she looked.
I struggled with the concept of having to move away for university as I was scared I would get a bad reaction from people I would be living with. I was very self-conscious at first and skipped lectures when my skin was bad, but when I went into second year, I realised nobody cared.
I realised that none of the people around me noticed my skin to a great extent. Also, being a student doesn’t leave you with a huge amount of time to get ready in the mornings either, so I made myself skip makeup some mornings and then it became more frequent.
Now, it’s rare I wear any to university. If I’m going out somewhere nice with friends or family, then I will wear makeup, but if it’s just to do something casual like going to the supermarket, then I will skip it.
Now, Abigail rarely wears makeup when she attends lectures at the University of West of Scotland, instead saving it for when she goes on a night out with friends.
The student now shares her journey on Instagram as a way to connect with other people who might be going through the same thing.
She explained in one post she is not trying to blame others, nor is she trying to play the victim. Abigail just wants to share the truth of her experience.
This isn’t me calling out guys and making me the victim because I have came across so many people that are understanding about my skin and don’t focus on my skin but it just sends me into so much turmoil as I’m so self aware about it.
After years of feeling unworthy because of her skin, Abigail wants to encourage others that acne doesn’t define them and they aren’t alone, as she once thought.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).