The no-filter acne selfie has gone viral, promoting self love and #skinpositivity
This beauty trend is spot on.
Women are proudly showing off their acne sans filter on social media to spread messages of self-love and anti-insecurity and to encourage fellow females to embrace their skin.
Makeup-free selfies with skin covered in blemishes, red blotches, pimples and scars are on full display with the hashtag #skinpositivity, a viral reveal that has been taboo for many who wouldn’t dare post a photo without wearing coverup or a filter.
The hardest thing about having adult cystic acne has been coming to terms with the realisation that I am never going to be “cured” but the best I can ever hope for is “control” of my skin. I have suffered with spots since 1992 and still continue to do so in 2017. That’s not to say there haven’t been periods where my skin has cleared up – it has (sometimes even for a few years) – but the cysts usually return over time. The good news is that when it does come back it usually responds to oral treatment. Psychologically accepting that I am never going to “grow out of it” has been a battle through most of my 20s and 30s. Now, closer to 40, I am learning to accept that my skin will be up and down – but when it is down, I need to treat it properly and revert to medication if I need it to minimise the risk of further scarring. I am not a perfect dermatologist with perfect skin – and nor do I aspire to be. Acne gets me down in the same way it affects any adult sufferer but learning to accept treatment when I need it and enjoying the periods my skin is good has become key for good mental health. Acne can be treated and scarring can be prevented but I think we are recognising more and more it can be a chronic problem for some that may always come and go. Acceptance of this is probably the most important part of the psychological battle. Sometimes it isn’t down to what we are eating or sleepless nights or heavy make-up or anything else we are doing wrong. It is just the luck of the DNA draw in terms of our unique combination of hormones and genetics. If you are suffering with your skin there are always solutions. They do not come with the guarantee that after a round of treatment your acne will not return, but there is always something that can be done and no one needs to suffer or just put up with it. If you are struggling with your skin or it is affecting your mental health please seek early intervention from your GP or dermatologist. (Trust the dermatologist who’s had topical creams, laser, antibiotics, the pill, chemical peels, spironolactone, metformin and 9 courses of Roaccutane in 25+ years! I have tried everything🙈) #dermatology #dermatologist #boardcertified #acne
“#SkinPositivity. #AcnePositive. #WhoCare,” one woman, Nhan Hâm, posted on Instagram with a blemish-filled selfie and peace sign.
It helps that celebrities are on the forefront of the movement. Supermodel Kendall Jenner showed up to the Golden Globes earlier this month glowing and voguing for cameras head-on, despite having a few visible pimples. A fan commended the reality star for fiercely flaunting her imperfect skin, praising: “Ok but @KendallJenner showing up and strutting her acne while looking like a gorgeous star is what every girl needs to understand,” to which Jenner replied: “never let that sh—t stop you!”
The awards show wasn’t the first time Jenner publicly addressed her battle with acne. “I had such bad acne when I was younger. It completely ruined my self-esteem–I wouldn’t even look at people when I talked to them. I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face,” Jenner posted a few years ago on her now-defunct blog.
“Even after things started to clear up, it took a solid amount of time to be okay with my skin and gain back my confidence. I realized that it’s a part of life for some people and it doesn’t define who you are.”
Others, like Paris Jackson, are also championing the #skinpositivity movement, urging that there’s no shame in not covering up acne, a condition almost everyone endures. The 19-year-old model and aspiring actress has shared makeup-free selfies shamelessly showing off pimples with some added humor, remarking on Twitter: “Don’t be insecure about your acne or stretch marks. You know what else has spots? pizza. and everyone loves pizza.”
don't be insecure about your acne or stretch marks. you know what else has spots? pizza. and everyone loves pizza.
— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) July 6, 2017
The skin positivity movement is a way for stars to be more authentic with fans, allowing followers to connect with them on a more relatable, real and raw level, beauty experts say.
“Celebrities are now being more authentic than ever by sharing what they really look like without all the lotions, potions and foundations that fix and cover up blemishes,” beauty and pop culture expert Valerie Greenberg tells Moneyish.
“They’re saying ‘hi, my skin isn’t perfect. I’m just like you.’ This will help eliminate such impossible standards that filters and Photoshop hold us to. It’s a domino effect. That’s what people want to see more of, and that’s what’s inspiring them to share their own unfiltered photos fearlessly.”
Clothing brands have also joined the movement by implementing non-photo shop policies in advertising. American Eagle’s intimates line Aerie, aimed at teens and young women, hired body positivity blogger Nià Pettitt for its latest campaign featuring un-retouched images.
“I used to cry in front of the mirror about my bacne,” Pettitt wrote in an Instagram post about the new photos. “I never used to wear anything that showed my back and I always covered my bum because of my stretch marks. Now I’m on Aerie flaunting them.”
Now, Pettitt says, she’s accepted and embraced her body.
Other companies, like CVS recently banned the use of Photoshop in its ads for beauty products. And the e-commerce website ASOS and Target have featured swimsuit campaigns with models of all sizes with unedited photos.
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