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Thursday, November 12, 2015

tldr: I'm Getting a Nose Job


When I was 12, I was told I had a big nose for the first time. I became an target for bullying from boys who thought I was ugly, and girls who thought I wasn't up to their standards. I started a journey of feeling ugly, worthless and alone.

This carried on for years, knocking down whatever was left of my self-esteem and my confidence. At 14, a boy told me "you'll never be able to give a blowjob because your nose is too big". And you know what? I was mortified. Ashamed and embarrassed, scared that it was true. My development as a "tween" was entirely knocked over by this one thing on my face and the way people saw me, and treated me because of it.

At 15, I met someone who turned it around for me. He made me realise that not everyone saw me the way people in my school year did. He made me feel loved and appreciated in a way that nobody ever had. That was important.

From then on, I decided to appear confident, even if I wasn't. I learned to laugh at myself, because people are less likely to be mean if they think it's not hurting you. I started bullying myself, in a sense. Making self-deprecating jokes about my nose, and my appearance. That worked all the way up until I was 20. My friends will know that I spent the majority of my time making jokes about my nose as a way to drive attention away from it. If people thought I was okay with it, they would be too, right? Wrong. Friends, teachers, boyfriends all joined in on the fun. And though it was lighthearted (and often very funny indeed), it slowly knocked down my confidence over, and over. I found myself in a place where I could no longer make jokes, because this thing on my face would not let me forget that it was there. That it was big. That it was horrendous. That it was out of place.

Age 20, I contemplated the idea of a nose job. I had always thought about it, but it seemed too far in the distant future, because I was so young. At 20, I thought about it seriously. But hadn't I learned to accept it? Hadn't I learned to love myself? Hadn't I learned to laugh at myself? I felt like getting a nose job would be a sign of weakness. That it would mean my bullies had won. I considered the fact that when I have children one day, if they end up with my nose, I won't have any ground on which to tell them to be confident in their own skin. That one really put the nose job out of my mind, at least for the time being.

But do you know how unhappy I am in my own skin? For the last year, I have been observing my actions and reactions, my body language and my attitude. My self-esteem is practically non-existent. I don't love myself in the way that I should. No amount of dieting or shopping for new clothes and makeup will make me feel better, because the thing that makes me unhappy is on my face, for everyone to see.

When I walk down the street, I will avoid making eye contact with strangers, and I will turn my head into specific angles so that they don't see my nose from either side. How messed up is that? I've struggled to make friends because all I can think about when I meet new people, is what angle they're seeing me from. I've learned to laugh at myself, but why should I have to? Why should I have to "embrace" things that make me completely miserable, if I can change them? I'm tired of being so self-conscious all the time.

The truth is, I need surgery on my nose anyway. I have a very deviated septum, which means that my nose is crooked and I can't breathe through one of my nostrils at all, and the other is constantly almost fully blocked like I have a cold. This makes it hard for me to breathe through my nose, which means I get tired and lightheaded very easily with any form of exercise. It means that I am not as protected from bacteria, and my mouth breathing often results in me having tonsillitis every couple of months, and me being sick every couple of weeks. I can't blow my nose, so all mucus builds up on my lungs and gives me horrible coughs. I need surgery anyway, and no matter what, my nose will look different. So it may as well look better.

I am not defined by my nose, or by the way people treat me because of it. I'm so over it. I want to feel happy in my own skin. I want to feel confident. I want to be able to not care which angle people see me from. I want to not have to be defensive all the time. I want to feel good. Is that too much to ask?

I've decided I'm getting a nose job. Not for the people who told me I "need" one, but for myself. I'm having the first appointment in December, and I can't stop thinking about it. I've wanted this for so long. I'm so excited to feel good, for once.

My friends and family will support my decision, and that's all that matters to me.
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Experience with HPV


I am 20 years old.

After my annual smear test last year, I tested positive for high-risk HPV, and had no idea what that meant, or why my mum was so scared for me. 

I had experienced no symptoms, and yet I had to urgently get a cervical biopsy. The results for that biopsy took several weeks to arrive, and I was really worried about it. I think, primarily, I was worried about the fact that I didn't know what to expect. Weeks later, the results came back negative for traces of cancerous cells. Sigh of relief.

I had to wait a few months to proceed with any treatment, as I was living in the UK and in the middle of my first year of University, so I couldn't just pick up and fly to Portugal to see my doctor. I was advised to get a procedure called a "cervical laser conization", in which my doctor lasered off the affected part of my cervix. This was only a little uncomfortable, and I didn't experience any major bleeding. This procedure has increased my chances of experiencing miscarriage someday, and I have to get a smear test every 6 months for the rest of my life to ensure that I don't develop it again. The more of these procedures you have to get, the higher your risk of miscarriage.


All I want in the world is to be a mum, and besides dying, not being able to conceive and carry my own children is my biggest fear. 


Not getting your smear tests done isn't worth the risk and the grief. It's not worth the higher risk of miscarriage after extensive cervical conizations. It's not worth the fear and the heartache of knowing that you're going to carry this disease with you forever and know that your health is compromised. I am perpetually concerned that I have, or am developing cancerous cells. 

I never knew anything about HPV until I had it. I got all 3 of the vaccinations when I was 16 years old, and I still got it. There are hundreds of HPV strains and the vaccines only cover four of them. 

I went from having absolutely nothing wrong with me, to having a threat of cervical cancer within less that one year. Smears are over in just a few minutes and they can save your life.

I've been getting yearly cervical smears since I was 15. My mum always insisted that I should be seeing a gynaecologist regularly since I became sexually active. It's common procedure in Portugal, but I know in the UK it's not like that.

Even in my case, where I need to get smears done because I have HPV, I can't get my routine smear tests in the UK, simply because I am not 25. I always have to fly home to see my doctor.

Common procedure in the UK is getting them done every 3 years after you're 25. If I had been left to wait that long, I could have developed cancer and could now either be undergoing treatment, potentially unable to have kids, or I could be dead.


How in the world does that make sense?

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate Review


For a few years now, there has been a lot of hype around the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. However, retailing at £36, it's not exactly something you want to spend your money on unless it works.

I purchased this product exactly one week ago and decided to give it a test run for the first week. I didn't change anything about my skincare routine, besides adding 3 drops of the concentrate to my face before bed every night.

All pictures were taken in the morning, after showering and/or cleansing. They are completely unedited, besides the watermark, of course.

* Everybody's skin is different. Even if we have the same skin type, the same products may result differently.








I hate to say that my first week of experience with the product was rather underwhelming. Although the product smells and feels great, I went from having slightly blemished skin, to having a pretty bad breakout.

Throughout the week I have had five painful under-the-skin spots on my forehead and bottom of my chin. There are both areas where I tend to break out anyway, but considering I am not expecting any hormonal spots, I haven't changed my diet, nor have I changed up any other products in my routine that were previously keeping my skin bearable, I can't help but say that I am not impressed with the concentrate.

My initial impression of it isn't the most positive, but I will continue to use it every night and I will be taking weekly pictures for the rest of the month and make up my mind about this product.

I will catch up with you later and update you on whether I will be keeping this product, or passing it onto a friend or family member who will love and use it more than myself.
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