Overcoming Insecurity: My Vulnerable Red Face

Insecurity...something we all have at some point in our lives. I'm no longer insecure about my weight. I don't care if I get a few pimples every now and then. I could care less about the fat or lack of fat on my body. I'm over it. Vanity is no longer of interest to me. It takes time to get to that point of complete and utter confidence.

Every person is truly unique and beautiful. However...there's just one insecurity I have that lingers from time to time.

My vulnerable red face. My face is like a canvas, and my emotions are the paint. No matter how hard I try to stop them, they show. 

It's like something you see on Saturday morning cartoons, anime, and Disney films but you rarely see it in real life. Some people may even believe the whole 'face getting red thing' is a myth. That's where I can tell you, you are 100% wrong.

Here's the cycle I go through quite often: I do something. My face gets red. I feel my face getting red so I get nervous and even more embarrassed  My face then gets even more red. The person I am talking to obviously notices but pretends not to. I feel uncomfortable. I leave. I calm down a bit. And I'm back at it.

This has been happening for as long as I remember, and I thought it was something I could grow out of.  Most of the time, I'm unaware of it. Just the other day, I was talking to this 50 year old woman at the front desk of an airport about getting my flight changed. I felt cool about the situation, but then Andrew tells me, "you know your face was bright red that entire time, right?" I can't even tell you how often I've heard that sentence.

In 4th grade, my peers started to notice my face getting red. Boys would tease me about it. The kids in my class would actually say a bunch of things trying to make my face turn red, it was like a competition or something. The even worst part is sometimes my face got red for no reason, causing people to think I felt some type of way. Not always the case.

The years went by and nothing changed. In 8th grade, I remember one of my friends saying, "Wow. You can really tell when you like or don't like someone." We were standing in the lunch line and the expressions and colors on my face would change as each and every person walked by. My face was like some kind of 3D animation for people to observe.

By high school, my breath was caught in my throat every time I tried to say something and it's like my face was getting red with everything I said. I tried to avoid any conversation that would make me uncomfortable. It's like my face was exploding with emotion every time I talked to someone I liked, looked up to, or even someone I was intimidated by. Even if I was with someone I was comfortable around, if they brought up something even a tad awkward, you could see that awkwardness on my face.

This isn't something I expect to fade. It just happens. I don't know why, but it's still going on.

Over the years, I have been teased for it. In a mean way, and in an "aw that's so cute" way. Regardless, it's something I've been insecure about because I like to have a sense of mystery and coolness about me but I turn into an animated Disney character every social situation I'm in.

The thing is: I don't suffer from social anxiety. I'm not shy or nervous around people. Although I'm an introvert, I would say I'm rather comfortable in social situations. But this is just one of those things, you know? Sometimes, I even think about something awkward I did in the past and my face turns bright red, when I'm BY MYSELF. Sometimes, I'll even send a risky text or email, and I'll be sweating and hyperventilating as my face is the color of a tomato. (once again, by myself.)

I've learned it's rare. It's unique. It's something that makes me, me. It's a quirk I have and while it's embarrassing, some people find it cute. I'm slowly learning to love it. Sure, sometimes it makes me look like a babbling idiot. But hey, sometimes it makes me look like a Disney princess or an animated animal sidekick that talks or even an anime or manga character. If I look at myself like a cartoon, it makes me feel better about this plague of emotion on my face.

Maybe it's a blessing. How lucky am I to feel so deeply? How truly blessed I am to have emotions that actually show? It's expressive. I am happy that when I get nervous my stomach ties into a million knots. I am happy that when I'm sad I can barely fake a smile. A lot of people are numb to the world. Maybe you think I'm naive or innocent, but to tell you the truth, I'm just soft. I'm just doing me. Emotions exist for a reason, and society may tell us that we should hide them. I've spent all these years trying to hide my emotions and getting humiliated when they actually show. But I've come to the point where I love this quirk about me.

It's something that makes me a bit more animated, a bit more theatrical, a bit more artistic. If my face gets red around you, know you aren't indifferent to me. It may be because I like you or because I don't like you. But it means I feel emotion towards you, and that's pretty cool. Feelings are pretty cool.

To my fellow awkward red faces, know it's okay. We are rare, but we are in this together. This isn't something that you can hide unless you hide from people and the world. You can try to put makeup on or tan, but it won't stop your face from flushing with color. I hope the gifs included of super cute animated creatures makes you feel a bit better about yourself.

We are animated. 
I'm animated.
And that's pretty cool for a not-so-animated world.