Guest Post: Charlotte on the Challenges of Spider Veins


Charlotte wrote recently to see if I would post about body challenges that are nearly impossible to disguise. She asked if I could write about the difficulties of being marked by some obvious physical attribute that must be dealt with daily and potentially dressed “around.” And while I’m willing to weigh in on challenges that I can imagine yet do not struggle with myself, there are some subjects I feel are best left to those with personal experience.

Since Charlotte mentioned her own battle with spider veins as an example, I asked her to write a guest post about her experiences and the various work-arounds she’s tried. Spider veins are incredibly common, hard to disguise, and consistently referred to as “unsightly.” I’m sure that many of you will be able to relate to Charlotte’s story, and sympathize with her ongoing effort to deal with a physical attribute that is genetic, incurable, and almost universally disdained.

* * * * *

I lie on the couch beside my mother in the evenings as she watches TV and pretend the ink-blue veins that cover her ankles are roads. Tracing one vein with my fingertip, I travel the road’s narrow contours until the blue line comes to an abrupt end. I turn around, go back, and find another passage. If I can travel all the way around my mother’s ankle without jumping over a ravine – the unblemished skin between one spray of veins and another – then I win the game. I almost always win.

Older, I discover that I’ve inherited my mother’s great cheekbones, her reddish hair. . .and her spider veins. When the unsightly creepers first appear on my legs, I’m pregnant and in my middle twenties. I tell myself it could be worse: Instead of the spider veins, I could have inherited my dad’s bulbous nose. At least with spider veins, most of the time I can hide them.

As soon as the weather turns cool, I rejoice. Living in Pennsylvania, I have seven reliable months when I don’t have to think about my spider veins. Leggings might be too revealing for some women, but not for me. They hide a highway system mapped out over the course of my long legs. Heavy traffic congested beneath my ankle-bone disappears under boots. The routes marked blue and red and purple tunnel surreptitiously, camouflaged beneath opaque tights.

Come summer, there’s nowhere to hide. Women in short dresses and sandals, women in shorts, women in swimwear. . .all baring their legs, showing off their pedicures, looking cool and unencumbered. I page bitterly through the j.jill catalog, wondering why Capri pants had to come back into fashion. I watch women on the street and wonder which sadistic fashion mogul put a contract out on sheer nude stockings. I remind myself that sheer nude stockings were, at best, a poor disguise. I pull on an ankle-length skirt and a pair of sandals, but a quick glance in the mirror shows inches of purple skin visible between my hemline and the ground. I kick off the sandals and put my shoes back on.

Into my thirties, I wear ankle socks – cute with Mary Janes, playful with pumps – but at a certain point, anklets turn from winsome accessory to glaring reminder of the elderly ladies of my youth. I remember the great-aunts padding out to the porch in ankle socks and slippers and floral house-dresses, their upper arms flapping. In the mirror, my poor legs look sad and gray above the cuffs of my white socks. I slip off the anklets and into a pair of jeans, despairing of ever wearing leg-baring summer clothes again.

Researching treatments and disguises on-line, I mostly encounter “spider veins” coupled with words like “unsightly” and “embarrassing.” No one calls them “thought-provoking,” “beautiful,” or “unique.” They are neither sought-after nor swooned over. I read articles about scleropathy – injecting the veins with a saline solution that dries them up, turns them brown, makes them go away. Yes, it’s temporary – the dried veins eventually fade, but new ones come to replace them – and since it’s a “purely cosmetic” procedure, insurance doesn’t cover it. At approximately $400 per treatment, and with the initial eradication often requiring several treatments, we’re looking at a cost substantially higher than a pair of opaque tights. Laser surgery is less painful, more expensive, and again, a temporary solution not covered by insurance. Even the most enthusiastic proponents of vein-zapping acknowledge that if you’re on your feet a lot, spider veins will come back. Among the people who will almost certainly need periodic repeated treatments are teachers, nurses, mothers, runners, salespeople, and those who lead sedentary lives. In other words, if you’re active, or if you’re inactive, the solution is only temporary. I scratch my head: Who are they leaving out here?

One website offers compression socks “that won’t make the veins go away or prevent them from getting worse but may improve the quality of life of the wearer.” I look at the socks, an edgy addition to any fashionista’s wardrobe. Thick and elastic, the socks come in several attractive flesh-tones possibly developed by the flesh-tone experts who brought us the Band-Aid. I ponder exactly how my quality of life will be improved by donning a pair of compression socks. Rubbing the legs with cypress oil or horse chestnut extract is also a suggested remedy.

My son insists that no one pays the least bit of attention to my legs. My husband tells me that I have many fine physical attributes that blind him to the existence of my veiny ankles. My best friend wonders aloud if only heterosexual women obsess about bodily imperfections because they feel so judged by men. At a conference, a woman compliments me on my “elegant” ankle-length skirt, then points at my ankles and asks, “Do you wear long skirts because you’re self-conscious about those little veins?” She speaks conspiratorially – a fair-skinned blond, she, too, has a few spider veins – but her words make me wonder whom I’m kidding. Haven’t I just been checking out other women’s ankles while pretending to listen to the various talks and panel discussions? Yep – worse than mine, even. Nope – flawless. Make-up. Socks. Long pants. Nope – though she could use a pumice stone on those heels. Nope – look at those gorgeous ankles, not a mark on them! Yep – though not quite as bad as mine. Ah-hah – boots in summer, a dead giveaway. Obviously, spider veins matter to me. A lot. Realizing this stings like another vein popping.

For the first time I try leg make-up. In the store, I examine the deep beige can and wonder if “Light Glow” is the shade that will give me “Perfect Legs in an instant!” I search the shelves again, hoping to come across a nice “Skim Milk” shade that might prove a closer match to my bluish legs. I don’t want this to look fake. I’m A-OK with being pale – I just want (as the can promises) my “freckles, veins, and imperfections” to bite the dust. At home, I carefully follow the directions – shaving, exfoliating, moisturizing – and then squirt out a handful of leg mousse. It glides on sheer and orangey. I wonder if this is like painting a table, where “several thin coats are preferred to one thick coat.” When I’m finished, my legs are Barbie-tanned, but my veins are as visible as ever. Now, my ankles just look sort of dirty. My skin has a peculiar greasy feeling. I wonder if it’s the “soft, smooth, and sexy” sensation promised on the container.

Like many failed experiments, my initial encounter with leg make-up inspires me to further experimentation. Though all the websites promise that “regular” foundation is not appropriate to use as leg make-up, I delve into my cache of discarded foundations and concealers – the ones I purchased with so much faith but that, in the end, turned out too thick, too yellow, too beige, too make-uppy to wear on my face. Beginning with a liquid concealer that had made me look like an albino raccoon, I slather it over the webs of purple veins. My legs become startlingly pale, but. . .wow. I can hardly see those veins. I blend in a squirt of an expensive foundation that made my face look jaundiced, and find that my legs are starting to look pretty good. I grab a container of cheap mineral powder foundation that I bought on vacation after forgetting the good stuff at home, mix a little with some cornstarch baby powder, and with a Kabuki brush, dust it over my legs to set the foundation.

I look at my legs in the mirror. While it’s definitely strange not to see purple shadows ringing my ankles, this looks promising. I go outside. In the daylight my legs still look pretty good. Maybe not air-brushed. Maybe not perfect. But I can definitely pass as someone with legs that look. . .well, normal. I see legs like these all the time, just plain ordinary legs, the kind without roadmaps and intersections and congested areas. I put on a knee-length skirt and sandals, and with some trepidation, go to the grocery store. I figure it’s a relatively safe place to test-drive my experiment – better than, say, a classroom full of college students.

The veins are not invisible, of course. They’re just less screamingly present. When I get home, I prop my smooth “Natural Ivory”-colored legs on a chair, and wait for my husband to gasp at the transformation. He doesn’t. I go to a dinner party with my made-up legs and no one pays them any mind. And that feels great. Maybe by the end of the summer, going bare-legged in public will feel so natural, I’ll forget to apply the make-up.

* * * * *

Do you have a dressing challenge that centers on a physical attribute that cannot be “downplayed”? How do you work around it? Or do you? Have you ever tried products or clothing designed to offset a physical challenge or trait, and found that it only made matters worse?

Images courtesy makemeheal.com.

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  • Gillian

    I have spider veins, and they were inherited from my mother. Obviously, this subject is near and dear to my own legs. There is really nothing you can do about it, other than spend thousands on semi-permanent fixes. GRrrrrr. And I'm only 20, so it's bound to get worse from here on in.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for your well-written article. Have you seen a doctor that specializes in vein treatments? I mention this because I started getting varicose and spider veins in my 20s, only to realize that the veins were as a result of enlarged saphenous veins in my legs. I had the EVLT treatment on both legs, followed by injections to clear up the existing darker veins. The procedures solved the issues, and thankfully, I no longer feel I must wear long skirts and pants in the summer.

    – Louise

  • Darling Petunia

    I had surgery in February which left me with a scar on my neck. I'm very pale, and it is very pink. I'd like to say I haven't changed a thing, but I have stopped wearing short necklaces, because they draw attention right to the scar. Other than that, though, I don't do anything to hide the scar or make it less noticeable.

  • Melissa

    I too have a few spider veins and larger blue ones that will become all-out vericose veins later in my life. I've had these since I was in my late teens, inherited from my mother whose father had them.

    I'm lucky that they aren't noticable enough (I think?) to keep me from wearing sandals and shorter skirts, but I'm subconsciously waiting for the time when they are.

  • Make Do Style

    Good advice. Make up for legs is so much better than socks. MAC foundation for face and body is great.

  • Jane W.

    I have spider veins on my calves caused by years of running and 9 months of gestating a very large infant.

    For the first time in years, I've decided to just live with it. I'll be wearing knee-length skirts this summer, sans leg makeup.

  • LPC

    I'm just so happy you found a solution!

  • Courtney

    Ugh, spider veins. I have a few of these nasty little boogers around my ankles and mid thighs. I don't really worry about them yet, because they are tiny and not really noticeable yet. I know they will be someday though, thanks to heredity, years spent as a waitress, and being a nurse working 12 hour shifts. I'm 26 now, but I know with future pregnancies I can pretty much kiss my legs goodbye.
    Loving The Reflection

  • Stephanie

    Stretch marks and loose skin. I've had 2 kids and was obese for 15 years so I have these on my tummy as well as my underarms, thighs, and breasts (have been a 40 DD now a really low hanging 34C). Not the end of the world I know but I will never be able to wear a little bikini again bc of the dangling giggly skin in the front. (I'm sure you all wanted to know) I know the solution is to wear a well covering one piece but this year I'm being brave and wearing a Lands End swim mini with a bikini top. I'm hoping that the sun will help a bit. I rubbed the special cream on my stomach twice a day when pregnant with ds and it did not seem to help so I didn't bother with dd. I'm glad that all of this can be covered but its hot here so I'm doing tank tops and such just the same and hoping that they bother me more the the rest of the world.

  • Miss T

    I have a big keloid scar on my ear. I used to have them on both ears but after two rounds of surgery (thankfully covered by my insurance) I only have one huge gnarly scar on my right ear. It dictates how I wear my hair – not to short and down all the time. I can't just jump out of bed and slap it into a ponytail and go anywhere – because I also have fine naturally curly hair, it has to be washed every morning or its a mess.

    Now that I live in sweaty hot Texas, I sure would like to wear my hair up sometimes.

    With spider veins, at least people know what they are. Most people don't recognize a keloid scar when they see one, so if I wear my hair up I get a lot of, "EW, what is THAT?!"

  • Laura

    Thank you, Charlotte. I, too, am glad you've found a solution that works for you.

    I have struggled with spider veins also (thanks, Mom!), and I've had a couple of sessions of sclerotherapy. It hurts a lot, but it does work fairly well on the most noticeable veins. I feel like it was worth my money, because it takes months and years for other spider veins to materialize. Until it's time to go in for the saline torture again, I do two things: I use self-tanner to disguise them, which has the added benefit of downplaying the cellulite; and I put my legs up the wall, yoga style, after work as often as I can remember to do so.

  • sparkledonkey

    I've got spider veins too, along with a varicose vein that popped up behind one of my knees at the ripe old age of 13. I resemble my mom in most ways, so I guess Dad had to stake his genetic claim somehow.

    I spent most of my teens and early 20's extremely self-conscious and always covered. It must have been terribly obvious that I was hiding something because I never dared to bare even my ankles, though the Phoenix summers regularly reached a sweltering 115+ degrees.

    At 31, I'd like to say that I'm not bothered by the way my legs look, but that's not entirely true. The difference now is that my appearance has just become a lower priority. I'm more concerned with being a good mom to my daughters – a big part of which is not hating on my own body or the bodies of others in their presence. And I hope they'll remember that if either of them get my spider veins!

  • Anonymous

    around age 20 i acquired a 5 1/2" scar on my forehead/eyelid (car crash) and a 4" long keloid scar on my collarbone (surgery). neither was all that amenable to 'covering up', so i've spent a lot of time thinking about this topic and observing how other people deal with this issue.

    in my observation covering things up never really works all that well. a lot of people will notice that the covering looks 'off' – a girl i know always purses her lips together in a strange way because she has an overbite and is trying to hide it. she looks like she is disapproving all the time, so you wonder what her problem is……if she just let her teeth show and relaxed, then its no mystery. wow, she has an overbite. so what, end of story. you see her teeth when she talks anyway.

    i know a couple ladies really well who have very bad varicose veins and they wear shorts all the time. everyone knows what a varicose vein is, and it's not uncommon for middle-aged and older people to have them. so its pretty much a non-issue if you put it out there. no one ever died from looking at a few leg veins (or from showing them, for that matter).

    it is a pain to deal with weird looks and rude comments. but having a 'normal' body is no defense against those comments, either. being comfortable in your own skin is the most effective way to cope with naughty strangers. as Charlotte finds out, no one else generally cares – they're too worried about their own imperfections!

    i can recommend Dermablend as a cover makeup. very opaque, lasts forever and is very water- and sweat-proof, and has a good range of tones. very interesting and well-written post. steph

  • Ivy

    Thank you for this. I don't have spider veins–instead, I have vitiligo. This causees large portions of my skin to have no pigment at all. It has spread–once just my knees and elbows, now a patchwork camouflage all over my body.

    I recognize that on the one hand, I'm lucky; I'm naturally so pale that if I don't tan, it's virtually impossible to see.

    On the other, I don't always remember sunscreen, and the light tan that I do get makes it more obvious. I've tried makeup, and it didn't work. I don't know; I wear skirts more now, and shorts if it's warm. But I don't ever feel really comfortable.

  • Anne

    Thanks for sharing, Charlotte. I don't have spider veins, and wouldn't have imagined they would be so hard to deal with.

    My challenge that I need to dress around is a very large surgical scar that runs the entire length of my back. Like you, this is only a real issue for me in the summer. Swimsuits that cover this are impossible to find. I see girls wearing halter tops/dresses and strapless styles all the time, and am always so jealous that I'll never be able to wear that look without feeling completely self-conscious about my scar. It's a shame too, since tops and dresses like that look pretty good on my frame otherwise.

    I hope that someday you are able to venture out without any make-up on your legs, and maybe someday I won't care about my scar either.

  • RETRO REVA

    Oh my goodness! Now I know why your blog is a favorite! I am tearing up as I write this! I JUST went to my doc. to get surgery on my "vericosities"! I tried to ignore them, but as I started a fashion blog, at 45, I couldn't believe the denial. My legs looked like tree trunks covered with hard ivy branches!I actually worked on my feet in high heels, and on concrete in retail for years. I am going to get the surgery, as it is really a health issue, but for me, a road-map leading to the grave. I tried to comically "name" the biggie – Snake. I air-brush them out of photos. I honestly don't notice them til I see photos and am reminded of youth=beauty. Boy has the world of high resolution images started a world of "veinity"!!! The veins really should be taken seriously, especially if there are no genetic markers for them in your family "tree".( I can't stop! ) They can be a more serious condition that is related to heart disease, often overlooked in women. The issue for me is cosmetic. They just make me feel so old! But with that said, most insurance policies WILL cover the surgery, if they are painful. It's always better to be safe than sorry! I urge anyone who has them to see their doctor. Thanks so much. I am going to be documenting my vein issues and the process I will be going through on my blog if anyone is interested.

  • LK

    I'm so glad I am not the only one who puts makeup on my legs! I have bruises that go back to childhood and a knee that is almost constantly black and blue due to a skin condition. I use to refuse to wear anything that wasn't ankle length because I got tired of people asking about all the bruises.

    But I discovered that a combination of sunless tanner lotion and makeup makes them practically disappear! Just like Charlotte, I don't have to worry about it anymore. Its quite nice 🙂

  • Audi

    I also have spider veins, but I don't let them worry me much. Getting some color in the summer does help, but since I don't like the dangers of tanning nor the gross smell of self-tanners, I buy a cheap container of medium-dark mineral foundation and mix it with my regular lotion (Lubriderm) for a quick, non-smelly cover-up. It doesn't make the veins disappear, but it does make them more subtle and is quick and easy.

    For those with scars, Mederma is simply amazing. I used it on a scar that was years old and very purple, and a few months' treatment turned it to a barely noticeable pink and even plumped up the skin where it was sort of sunken in. You can get it from Drugstore.com or any drugstore.

  • Anonymous

    I have Rosecea and have some big red veiny spots on one check.

    I've tried all those green concealers you see. Most of them I've trashed because I end up looking like I have green cream on my face. I finally settled in on a foundation with a yellow-base. It doesn't get rid of the spot entirely but it covers is up enough that I don't feel it's immediately obvious.

    I think it's a personal call whether you have a 'procedure' to remove them. Sometimes finding something that you can do that makes you feel like your flaw is minimized is enough to give you the confidence to ignore it.

  • angeline

    I identify so much with this article (very well written, by the way). I have severe eczema which leaves large itchy/scaly/oozy spots on my legs, mostly in the ankle/calf area (sometimes on my hands and arms too). At any given time I have about 4-5 "active" spots, and 10 years worth of scars from others that have gone away. When I first starting getting them in high school, I swore off shorts, and it took almost 10 years for me to wear shorts again. I've been to numerous dermatologists to find solutions, but mainly the solution is just to take care of the eczema areas and hope they go away quicker.

    The only time they really bother me is when it's bad, at which point I usually put on some medication, plaster my legs with bandaids, and put on some pants. when they're not completely disgusting, I feel fine wearing shorts and skirts, since eczema is rather common (although usually not as severe as what I have). People still often ask me "what happened?" because they may look like bruises (the scars) or scrapes (the scabs), but they usually understand once I say "oh, it's just my eczema." I think my comfort with it makes them feel better, too.

    To top it all off this weekend (which has stayed at 90+ degrees), I got 10 mosquito bites on my legs at a campfire on Friday, so my legs are awfully ragged right now, but I wore shorts all weekend anyway. 🙂

  • lyrebirdgully

    How I made friends with my Spider Veins

    I have loads of spider veins. When my eldest was about 14 months old (the age when his head just reached my thigh, so he had a perfect closeup view of them when I wore my sarong hitched up in the summer – only at home where people couldn't see my legs, of course!), he put his finger gently on my purple- threaded thigh and smiled, saying "pitty fow-nas".
    I so had to smile back. I knew what his Toddlerspeak meant. He was saying "pretty flowers!"
    Since that lovely moment when my darling boy admired the pattern of my veins, I have stopped thinking about them. I've got other body features which I'm actually very proud to have, so I no longer mind having imperfect legs. To me the veins are a kind of a natural tattoo, marks of my motherhood, my two pregnancies. With these scars of honour, I'm following in the footsteps of my older female relatives who let their veins show without shame. It's a fashion I'm happy to perpetuate.

  • Steph

    I don't really have any medical issues or blemishes that I dress to conceal or detract attention from, but I do have a vericose vein in one leg (luckily on the inside of my leg around the knee so it's not highly visible) that occasionally gets swollen and uncomfortable. I'd like to recommend to anyone who is dealing with the pain or discomfort of vericose veins to go to an accupressure massage practitioner and tell them about the problem. I work in a sedentary profession, so all that sitting helped it develop early. Mine was really bad at first, extremely swollen, almost constant painful throbbing. I had two–just TWO–accupressure massage treatments, about one month apart, concentrated on my legs, and the valves in the veins opened right up, let blood flow naturally again instead of pooling, and down the swelling went. It was nearly a year before I felt anything even close to the same level of discomfort from that vein again. And now that I know what helps, I can massage my own leg to open up the vein's valves and get blood flowing properly again. Certainly ask your physician or general practitioner about this kind of treatment if you have other health issues or are concerned. Of course, you may only get support for this with open-minded doctors who value alternative treatments as much as the operate/medicate strategies. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.

  • Anonymous

    I just want the writer to know that you are absolutely not alone!

    I relate so well to these problems! I don't have those reddish spider veins, but large dark blue ones on the back of my knees. They don't stick out so my doctor says they aren't varicose, but I am just unfortunate enough to have pale skin and veins that run close to the surface of my skin.

    I should mention that I am thin and in good shape so it seems doubly unfair that I can't wear shorts or short dresses or bathing suits with ease. Riding on escalators I stare at the back of other women's legs who are much heavier and older than me and can't believe that they don't share this affliction!

    Because it is my knees that are affected, unlike the writer I live for capris in the summer…not quite shorts but at least something other than long pants. Bathing suits are a nightmare for me.

    I will try the makeup solution, but I worry that it will end up all over the clothes and furniture and not really work.

  • Sara Darling

    This really got to me; while I don't have spider veins I have been very self-conscious of my legs for almost 20 years. I have thin pale blotchy skin that shows every underlying vein, every bruise, every shaving accident, every bug bite, every scar I've ever gotten in sharp contrast. I've gone years without wearing shorts in public or skirts without tights or tall boots to cover my calves. Finally, about a month ago and for the first time in a decade, I wore a skirt and ballet flats without socks or tights or anything. And the world did not come to an end, children did not scream in horror, no one pointed and laughed (that I noticed). And it felt so good just to decide that I'm okay, I'm not perfect, and that doesn't make me a nauseating freak.

  • fleur_delicious

    I don't know why, but this post made me feel rather sad. Wouldn't it be a nicer world if no one cared that there are veins on people's legs?

  • fleur_delicious

    PS my MIL wears these compression stockings – because 5 years ago, her leg was snapped in half in a vehicular collsion (literally: as she recalls, "I knew it was bad when my shoe hit my face"). Her incredible doctors were able to reattach it and set both bones, but had to wrap what was left of her calf with muscle taken from her back. I'll tell you straight: you can see the seams all around where the piece of back muscle was wrapped. There's no way it looks "normal." She lives with the constant pain, that's the bad part. The compression sock is actually to help keep the blood circulating, not to disguise the leg. But I've seen her leg without the sock a few times on really hot days, and you know? You get used to it pretty fast – no big deal.

    just sayin'…

  • Maria

    At 49 and fat, I have all kinds of body issues that I ignore. I wear skirts, bathing suits and shorts- yes in public, and yes shamelessly.

    Life is too precious to waste on what someone may think when they see my … whatever.

    I love fashion, wear nice makeup, spend some good money on good haircut and color, and like shoes (just not Cydwoks!). I also practice good manners, smile a lot, and try to focus on those around me instead of on me.

    So, yep, I still yearn for a perfect bod once in a while, but I am loving and enjoying mine today, just as it is.

    Sal, I love the post, the blog, and your Dad.

  • TSquared

    Thank you for sharing! I got painful (and unattractive), throbbing varicose veins when I hit 30– my calves and shins. I had to wear compression stockings for 6 months (and document the pain) before my insurance would cover surgery. Now I've had the surgery, but I still wear compression knee socks most of the time since I am on my feet a lot.
    I found some good compression options through footsmart.com, but mostly my compression knee socks require creative styling. I feel triumphant when someone compliments my knee socks as a fashion choice since they're actually a medical necessity.
    I find that above-the-knee skirts tend to work well with my knee socks. I also love layering footless tights with the knee socks, or wearing sporty shoes, a khaki or denim skirt with the socks, and a feminine top. Bright colors on top help me feel less self-conscious about my legs and/or my socks.
    Mostly, I'm trying to think to myself, "ROCK THOSE KNEE SOCKS!" when I dress for warm weather but need the support. Lightweight linen trousers with toeless compression socks under strappy sandals are another option I like during the summer.
    For weddings and other formal events where I've needed to wear shorter skirts but knee socks don't fit the dress code or required footwear, I used self-tanning lotion, bronzer, and a positive attitude. I figure if everyone's looking at my smile, they won't notice the veins in my legs.

  • Charlotte

    Thank you for the great responses, suggestions, and ideas, Sal's dear readers. I loved reading them! As many of you have discovered, the world does not come to an end when it discovers your Significant Flaw. The big challenge is overcoming your own self-consciousness, and learning to be comfortable with yourself, warts and all.

  • Chelsea

    Wow, what a beautifully written post… thanks Charlotte! I've had spider veins ever since high school… they are all around my ankles and my knees, and randomly in the middle of my calves. I had always been self conscious about them, but despite my ill feelings, they just kept getting worse as the years have gone by (I'm 27 now).

    Finally I've come to terms with the fact that the veins aren't going anywhere, AND truly they're not as "unsightly" as the media makes them out to be. If someone has a problem with 'em, it's probably because they are insecure themselves about something different or even similar. I think I am able to accept these "imperfections" better now because I accept other things about myself and my body that I used to think were damaged or wrong.

  • firefly

    I have a physical speech problem, which I try to hide by avoid saying words with "r" sounds. That's why I dislike presentations and am known (or unknown) for being quiet.