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Embracing Acne: Why Perfect Skin is a Lie

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

We have all experienced it: one, two, or maybe a face full of the bacterial clogged pores we call pimples.

I myself have dealt with acne from a very young age. Dealing with skin issues in middle school, while many other changes were occurring, was not the best time in my life… and I’m sure this was true for many others. While I was obsessively picking at my skin, I noticed that my peers seemed to have perfectly clear faces. I felt like there was something wrong with me. Why was I breaking out when every one of my friends had no trace of acne on their skin? Why was everyone online the epitome of perfection? And why was I not?

Around my freshman year of high school, I began to notice that I wasn’t the only one dealing with acne. More people in my school began showing their acne and not being ashamed of it. I made the realization that even though most of us tried to hide it, there was nothing to be ashamed of because it wasn’t going away anytime soon. Though I made this realization, I still struggled to find imperfections in celebrities. All of the photos I had seen featured famous people with genuinely flawless skin. I wanted to be just like them, so I began using facial products. Expensive or not, I tried them all… which took a toll on my face, and my bank account!

I began developing chemical burns from how many facial products I was using at the same time. My skin texture was horrible, and I was constantly either breaking out, or my face was as dry as the Sahara Desert. I couldn’t find a happy medium for the life of me! I couldn’t find a way to look like these celebrities that seemed so perfect online and it was tanking my mental health.

It took me until sophomore year to find out there were apps like Facetune on the market. Apps like these can distort facial features to the point of being unrecognizable from your true self. I realized that most celebrities and most anyone with an online persona used these apps to smooth their face or brighten their dark spots.

I realized that perfect skin is a lie. The online versions that we see of people aren’t real. Everyone has their own imperfections that they try to cover up via conforming to societal standards on social media. Once I realized this, I made the connection that I don’t have to have flawless skin to be pretty. Social media is mostly fake, and once we recognize this, growing up in the age of social media could be less harmful to impressionable young people like me.

Emma Schrimper

Bowling Green '25

Hey! I'm Emma Schrimper and I am a freshman at Bowling Green State University this year studying psychology! In my free time, I love to sing and play guitar, as well as take photos for my photography business!
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