Embracing Acne Is Our Next Step in Self-Love and Acceptance | Teen Ink

Embracing Acne Is Our Next Step in Self-Love and Acceptance

February 17, 2023
By httpshaylee GOLD, Arvada, Colorado
httpshaylee GOLD, Arvada, Colorado
18 articles 21 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Even a broken clock is right twice a day"

Acne has been perceived as disgusting and something to be covered up by all means possible for far too long. Many people had felt gross in their own skin for far too long because as a society, we have failed one another by feeding into unattainable standards that do nothing but hurt our self-esteem and isolate us from others.

In recent years, this issue has finally started to be addressed more and more as public figures have shared struggles and shown that we deserve to embrace how we look because our worth and beauty are not determined by the amount of “imperfections” on our faces.
My experience
My struggle with acne has been ongoing since before I was even a teenager. I can’t remember the last time my face was clear.

Teenagers always get a bad rep for having acne, but nobody ever prepared me for being a sixth grader too scared to let anyone see my forehead underneath my bangs because of all my acne. My shame has been ongoing ever since as early as elementary school.

I have always felt dirty and disgusting and that nobody else around me could possibly be going through the same thing as me. This has led to me trying anything and everything to get rid of my pimples. I’ve tried high-end products and even at-home remedies even though I knew it wasn’t a good idea out of pure desperation.

Looking at public figures online and my friends around me only made things worse and convinced me I truly was alone in this battle. I only recently have come to terms with the fact I am doing everything right and as long as I’m taking care of my skin, that’s all that really matters.

I worry for others though, especially younger girls, because who knows how long it will take them to reach the same conclusion.
Suffering the consequences years later
There’s nothing I can say about unrealistic standards in the media you haven’t already heard a million times, but what I can say is that I genuinely think we are moving in a positive direction.

The height of my insecurity with my skin was around 2016 which, looking back now, makes complete sense. This era was the peak of unrealistic standards and making young girls feel disgusted with themselves.

This era of makeup was unlike any other with aggressive smokey eyes and sculpted brows that took hours to do. Makeup artists truly caked on foundation like there was no tomorrow, making everyone shocked when we saw their actual natural faces because we weren’t used to seeing real skin at that point.

While these makeup looks were always amazing, there’s no denying it set unrealistic standards for what a bare face looks like. We have suffered the consequences of this for far too long as people still are baffled by the fact people don’t always have super-perfect skin underneath their makeup.
Charli D’Amelio
D’Amelio is the most famous teenager in the world right now, and whether we like it or not, she has a very large and impressionable audience. She has millions of young girls looking up to her and she might not be perfect but she is definitely doing something right.

In a tweet reply from earlier this year, D’Amelio responds to a fan after explaining their appreciation for her not editing out her acne in pictures.

“It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable in my skin but this is how I look and makeup only helps so much. I have to be confident and learn to love every ‘imperfection’ that I have [because] each one makes me unique and special in my own way.” -Charli D’Amelio
Being very open about her struggle with mental health from her quick rise to stardom, D’Amelio understands her immense impact on her young fans and does a great job at making sure she doesn’t set unattainable standards for them as they grow up. She shows that acne doesn’t change how beautiful you are and proves that she is a good role model for young kids.
Pimple patches
While I truly think we are heading in a positive direction, I realize that people may not feel completely comfortable going out in public with their acne showing. This is completely okay and understandable because we aren’t quite where we should be in terms of acceptance quite yet.

To this, I think I may have a solution.

A few months ago in my English class, I saw a student wearing pimple patches and I absolutely loved the statement this made. He wore them proudly and looked great doing it.

Pimple patches are usually advertised as being worn to bed to make pimples magically be gone the next day, but with how cute some of them are, why don’t we just wear them during the day?

I think they are perfect statement pieces and look too good not to be showing off. Instead of hiding underneath our acne, I love the idea of embracing it and not letting it bring us down.

Having a cute little shape on your face AND actively treating the pimple at the same time sounds like a win-win to me. I think this is a perfect way to embrace acne without actually embracing it.
Final thoughts
I know this won’t be an overnight change of people suddenly feeling comfortable with acne after years and years of being forced to think it’s disgusting. I do know, however, that with young kids looking up to figures such as Charli D’Amelio and seeing that so many other people have the same struggles, we can start to change our mindsets.

Even though we still have far to go, I’m proud of the progress we have made as a society and I think young kids now will have a better experience than me and everyone else before me.

It’s about time we change how we view acne and stop letting it make us feel like less than others.

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