So, two days back, there was a new development in the topology of my face. As a result of the monthly hormonal changes, a small pimple, or boil, or whatever the right terminology is, peeked out from under my skin (or rather, “peaked” would also be correct). And these pimples are notorious little creatures. They don’t germinate in obscure corners of the face where they can be easily hidden from public view. No way! They turn up at strategically noticeable hotspots where their presence will draw eyes and frowns. Popular regions are right on the nose, right below the nose, or just anywhere in the vicinity of the nasal region.

Initially, it is just a baby pimple. Only you know that it is there. You hope that it will die at infancy. Sometimes, very rarely, if you are lucky, this might happen. Most often, these baby pimples reach adolescence within the span of a single night’s sleep. You wake up the next day knowing that if you rub your face, trying to pry out the last traces of sleep, your fingers will encounter this new guest. They are also very responsive to external stimuli. Any small pressure or humidity variation makes their growth rate shoot up and they soon reach adulthood. During this time you might also try to “pop” it. Biggest mistake ever! To quote a mythological example, the pimple is like Raavan. You cut its head off once, another upgraded, uglier version will soon take its place. And that leaves you where? Back to square one (or cone one, if we’re being particular about shapes here).

So, what is the solution? Like all unsolvable problems in life, you just have to wait for it to go away on its own. It might take a day, or two, or three, or a week, if we’re being real with ourselves. But it will go away. You will one day wake up and not even notice that it is gone. But when it is present, for the first few days at least, you will experience many unwanted side effects such as insecurity, self-consciousness, guilt (for some reason), and a general when-will-this-be-over phase.

And this makes me wonder…what does the pimple on my face truly bring to the surface?

It brings out a version of me that I actually try to hide during the rest of the pimple-free time. On regular days, I project this version of myself that is calm, collected and in-control. All the doubts and insecurities remain hidden beneath this carefully made-up mask. But the pimple shatters this illusion. People can see you hesitate, stammer and look away while you answer their (pretty redundant and pointless) questions about the pimple. And if there is some major public event during this event where your face is exposed to a larger audience (this is invariably the case most times), then your only option is to wear a mask and preach Covid safety.

Is there an alternative? Again, this is a strictly rant-blog. I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to impart. Pop it, or don’t. Obsess over it, or don’t. Write about it, or don’t. I can’t tell you to flaunt the pimple proudly without sounding like a hypocrite. Unless runway models start flaunting their pimples proudly, you and I will never find any sort of beauty in it. But we can learn to accept it. We can try not to be so hard on it and ourselves (unintended callback to previous post). The pimple on my face inspired this blog post so it must not be such a bad thing after all. That said, I look forward to the day this pimple reaches the end of its lifespan and joins other deceased pimples in pimple-heaven.

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