girl, I don’t want to make you sweat
I used to think it was because of weight, but after talking to a few people, including my mother, I concluded that it was just my lovely genetics. My mother, back in her very slim teenage days, was a big sweat-er. She told me she used to try and wear heavy coverage makeup in the hopes of stopping herself from sweating so much. She not only sweated in hot weather, she sweated when she was nervous. I’ve come to realise that I am practically a carbon copy of my mother in that regard.
Yesterday, I was at David Jones, perusing the sales racks when I realised the air conditioner was either way too low or not on at all. I felt that tell-tale trickle on my face and the back of my knees. I tried to casually wipe my face and ignore my knees, figuring that if some weirdo wanted to get down on the ground and look at the sweaty backs of my knees, more power to them, because, 1. effort and 2. ew. But, the sales assistant caught me. Luckily, she was lovely and commented that the air conditioning had only just been turned on, and that they were really suffering in the store. Of course, you couldn’t tell by her face. When I noticed a very tiny amount of sweat on another sale assistant’s forehead, I felt a little better.
I was grateful the sales assistant made a joke though. I’ve had people look at my sweatiness before and make disgusted faces. Despite how far I’ve come in my body acceptance journey, I still struggle with my damn sweat glands. It doesn’t help that I live in a pretty humid place, where it’s considered completely normal for most people to sweat, but apparently females aren’t supposed to be dripping with perspiration, they’re supposed to just slightly glow with a lovely sheen.
Yeah, no. I pretty much look like I’ve been in a shower.
I remember once, in the middle of summer, I was helping out with moving boxes at this internship I was doing. I got sent home because the director was concerned that it was too much for me, because I was sweating buckets (I could actually WRING OUT the t-shirt I was wearing) and my face was bright red. I insisted I was fine, and I was, but she still sent me home. At the time, I was rather embarrassed, but now, I have to laugh.
I recognise that my own hyper awareness of sweat makes everything seem magnified. I recognise that my anxiety makes me paranoid and think, “oh my god, everyone is staring at me and judging me”. I’ve said before, even if those people are judging the sweaty mess I am, I am trying not to let it get to me. I love commiserating and hearing others’ stories about their sweaty mess times. One of my good friend’s husbands is also someone who sweats a lot. For their wedding, he had three separate shirts because he was so paranoid the sweat marks would show. Once again, this made me feel better.
I don’t feel this is something we talk about a lot. We’re supposed to ignore it. And while on the one hand I’d prefer people to ignore my face dripping down to my ankles, on the other, I’d like it to be acknowledged; for others to become comfortable with their (sweaty) messy selves. We aren’t all perfect and it would be incredibly boring if we were. So, if you’re a sweat-er like me, come forward! Commiserate and let’s talk about it!