Over the past 10 years, the body positivity movement has become a highly important part of mainstream culture. More diverse body types, skin colors, ages, and people of all abilities have been included in the common ideal of beauty. However, narrow standards of beauty do still exist. A beauty standard we can’t seem to shake is the desire for smooth, blemish-free skin… no matter how unattainable that may actually be.
Across ad campaigns, social media, and TV, no matter how diverse the cast is, the one commonality is that everyone has perfect skin. Acne is still associated with the awkward pre-teen years, nerd archetypes, and poor hygiene. Beauty influencers ‘before’ pictures show them with uneven skin tone and pimples before they’re transformed into perfect art pieces. More natural makeup looks always consist of at least one or two products to cover blemishes or cover dark circles. The skincare industry is booming off of this desire for perfect skin, gaining $140 billion in 2020. One of the most popular skincare Youtubers, Hyram, has over 4.5 million subscribers. There is no denying that people are eager to achieve clear skin.
In response to the pressures for perfect skin, there is a growing social media movement encouraging acne positivity and embracing your natural skin. Influencers in this movement post makeup-less pictures, always smiling and showing confidence in their looks. Positive messages of loving yourself are a staple of this movement. Many of these influencers also remind their followers of the constantly changing state of our bodies, a message not always seen in the body positivity movement. You might have ‘better’ skin for a few weeks and then experience a particularly bad breakout. This creates a wonderful message that you’re not failing if your body changes, but rather just existing and being human. It’s amazing to see a much needed movement blossom and hopefully soon we will see the acceptance of natural skin work its way into mainstream beauty.