Cheers to a magazine-finish me

Hello humans! Start the new year with good vibrations radiating from the interwebs. By vibrations, I don't mean computer radiations you've been getting since the crack of technology. For a change, my facebook timeline is filled with positive notes, exchanges of well wishes and a surplus of new profile photos (oh hey, new look, new you.)

Now brace yourself for my two-cents on self-acceptance.
I'd like to address my insecurities as part of my emotional balancing act being on Prednisone. Thanks to this article that hits so close to home let me put a few things in perspective being on Prednisone for a long period (on and off, at that). Experiencing Prednisone's long list of side effects or similarly undergoing changes brought by illness or what have you is an emotionally draining battle. As much as I don't want to attribute my foul moods to my medication, I guess the long term use does get to my head and this is something I have to control.

Who doesn't want to be a pretty girl?

Low self-esteem as a side-effect of Prednisone is something I have not talked about in-depth since the first time I took it in my teens. To let you know, rapid physical change and puberty is NOT A COOL combination. Imagine me with all the heightened feelings when I bloated up.
It happened fast. Seemingly overnight, I went from a size 4 to a size 12.
-Anonymous @ NYMAG 
It's history but I will never forget that feeling of not being able to recognize myself in the mirror. So I decided to do a little experiment by recreating the experience of being unrecognizable, except in a slightly favorable circumstance. Working around my Prednisone induced puffy face* here's what I managed to look like. Now, cut me some slack for the dolled up look. I mean how often do you actually see me look this good?!
If I woke up like this every day, I'd be set for life!

But I did not wake up like this. In fact, I have zero make-up on this photo! This is a shopped photo because make-up and Marz Ren don't know how to work together in real life.
I am capable of being a pretty-looking human, thanks Photoshop, owe you one.

I want you guys to understand that folks who have no control over the changes with their bodies experience a certain kind frustration. Young people in situations similar to mine deal with pressures that boxes them into stereotypes. It boils down to the dirty dirty whims of social imaging. Then there's also my own projection of myself that complicates my perception of how I should look "I don't look like this... wait what's happening to my body?!" (it's puberty all over again.)
This about sums it up.
When I got heavier, I felt like I had to constantly explain to people, You don’t understand — I’m actually skinny. I still thought of myself as a skinny person, and I felt this compulsion to explain the whole story to everyone I met so that they wouldn’t just assume that I was lazy or indulgent or irresponsible
 -Anonymous @ NYMAG 
The thing about perceiving beauty is that its not limited to a skin-deep level. I say so because I have genuinely felt beauty radiate from all sorts of people, including those who don't fall in the conventional kind of beautiful. I've realized that beautiful, although as subjective as it is to the eyes of whomever's eye sockets they belong to, can be used as a mindset and is a lot like happiness. If I were to describe this kind of beauty, its like a natural vibe you get radiating off from a beautiful person as if their saying I am beautiful and it rubs off on you in a good way, without them literally saying it and coming off as stuck up. That's a totally different thing.
I am laying this all out because magazine-standard pretty can crush ones' self esteem. I've been duped into thinking it was a universal standard for beautiful and I've placed myself in a hole an suffered quietly before. I've seen how magazines and TV folks do all sorts of crazy sorcery to meet a standard for beauty that's not set on stone. Trust me when I say not all pretty people woke up tv-ready. Heck, some Kpop-idols have no-make-up-no photo policies. I'd like to believe that I've made peace with myself in the skin-deep pretty department. I so do not look like that in real life! I did for the make-up... THE MAKE-UP! (ok sheesh, say it don't spray it)

On a brighter note, beyond the overwhelming likes and compliments of my magazine-finish face, I also fished out a comment folks enjoyed for the lols!
lol really you guys? I am genuinely entertained.

Since we're on topic of honesty, my other most liked profile photo is also shopped but minimally. Cut me even more slack, dawg. I was healthier and happier in this photo not being on Prednisone and soft-lights are just delightful TV-things I'd love to have in all my photos.

For this year I am working on staying healthy, though I know its a long (and I pray not so painful) journey geting there. To everyone who likes my photoshopped face, thank you for sharing the same vision as I do of my idealized self, you have great tastes! I feel smug with all the compliments (I am practically set for the rest of the year.) I surprisingly feel good about myself and I am happy, got laughs out of it and I feel confident waking up to my un-photoshopped face thank you very much. It may well be funny business to admit to photoshopping but then most of your favorite people are.

Your local druggie of 2014

P.S. I am not high.
P.P.S. Gerry Alanguilan, your Hey Baby look is forever win
* do not use Prednisone to get full cheeks!

Author's Note:
This is a supporting piece to the article "I Gained So Much Weight I Didn’t Recognize Myself".
Other resources:

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