Auntie SparkNotes: My Classmates Mock My Splotchy Cheeks
I was born with rosy cheeks. Or tomato cheeks, as I call them. Normally that would be pretty, but they get sort of splotchy. So I put on this good liquid foundation to even out my skin tone, but the only other girls in my small class in my even smaller private school always feel the need to point out the obvious - like loudly saying my skin looks powdery, or insisting that I have blush on because my cheeks are pink, or telling me I'm way too pasty. And when I go out in public without the make up, I look like I have a rash on my face or something. What should I do?
Well hey, Sparkler, let me tell you a story: once upon a time, back when Auntie SparkNotes was a teeny eighth grader at a private school full of preppy people, a group of popular girls in my class started making fun of me for wearing the "wrong" sort of jeans. What was wrong with them? I STILL DON'T KNOW. But it eventually got so that every time I wore denim to school, I'd be subjected to pointing, laughing, loud comments about how "weird" and "gross" my pants were, and other displays of that special sort of meanness that only 14-year-old girls are capable of. And it sucked.
Until one day, purely by accident, I came to school wearing a new pair of jeans—a pair of jeans that caused my tormentors to stare in stunned silence, until one of them turned to the other and whispered, in a tone of total shock, "Her jeans! They're... NORMAL!"
At which point they stopped making fun of my jeans... and started making fun of my hair, instead.
Which is to say, this nonsense wasn't about jeans, or hair, or anything else that could have been quickly and easily resolved with a few bucks and a trip to the mall. It was about the fact that my middle school was ruled by a group of snot-nosed little turd waffles who got a real kick out of making the less-popular kids as miserable as humanly possible. And in your case, trying to change the way you deal with your rosy (or, okay, splotchy) cheeks won't do a single solitary thing to alter the fact that the girls in your class are a bunch of hosebeasts.
So while you might, for your own reasons, want to look into something a little lighter and less pancake-y than liquid foundation to even out your complexion (have you ever tried tinted moisturizer? It's kind of amazing!), what you really need is to find a way to handle your classmates' rude comments that makes you feel empowered, confident, and okay. And while you may well be able to come up with the perfect solution on your own, here's a little list of possible strategies to get your started.
"I wear makeup because I have a skin condition. How about you act like a decent human being and stop mocking me for it?"
"Wow, aren't you pleasant." (Followed by an immediate return to whatever you were doing without any further acknowledgment.) (NOTE: The worst bullies will sometimes reply to this with, "I'm just saying,!, to which you can reply, "Yeah, and I'm just saying that saying it makes you a jerk.")
When someone makes a nasty comment about your skin, look confused, hold a hand to your ear, and say, "What?". Make them repeat themselves at least four times, then throw your hands up in frustration and say, "I'm sorry, I don't speak asshat."
The Apologetic Smackdown
You: Oh, I'm sorry.
Jerk: For what?
You: For giving you the impression that I care about anything you have to say.
The Winston Churchill Favorite
"My makeup might make my skin look powdery, but you're an obnoxious twit. And tomorrow, I could just decide not to wear makeup, but you'll be an obnoxious twit for the rest of your life."
The Non Sequitur Insult
"Is it stupid in here, or is it just you?"
And finally, The Comeback That Works In The Movies But Will Probably Get You In Trouble In Real Life
Jerk: Your skin looks powdery.
You: That's rich, coming from someone whose face is covered in pudding.
You: [hurls a giant gob of pudding at tormentor's face]
Basically, when it comes to your skin, you should do whatever makes you feel best about your appearance—and when it comes to your obnoxious classmates, you should do whatever gets you through the day. (And if whatever gets you through the day happens to involve projectile pudding... well, let's just say that nobody here is going to tell you it's wrong.)
Have you ever dealt witn obnoxious comments about your personal appearance? Tell us how you handled it! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at email@example.com.