Growing up in the '90s, I vividly recall beauty being associated with the mantra: to be fair, lovely, and flawless. It was a time when people were convinced that success was measured by the colour of their skin, and prince not-so-charming was only drawn to their glow (because, who cares for compatibility and love, right?). Thankfully, it’s no longer the '90s, and we definitely know better. The bias, however, is still ingrained in us. Even now, underneath the blurring tools, smoothening filters, and masked AI technology, the message is crystal clear—flawlessness is a beauty norm we still adhere to. And it needs to stop.
"How is their skin so clear; no blemishes in sight?"—if this is your reaction every time you spot a #nomakeupselfie or a #nofiltercandid, know that the recipe for that glow goes beyond what meets the eye. It’s a combination of good angles, great lighting, strong genes, and luck (yes, I am pulling that card, too). Ask any expert and they’ll tell you that uneven skin texture is absolutely normal—skin has pores, it develops blemishes, and has a little peach fuzz, all of which contribute to this ‘not so smooth’ texture that people perceive as unhealthy. This false perception that blemish-free equals healthy, often results in a toxic perspective, resulting in more harm than good. These unrealistic expectations can lead to low self-image and other mental health issues.
Note: There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your skin and treating any texture concerns you feel need attention, as long as it's with the intention of attaining healthy skin rather than an obsession over smooth skin to fit into the stereotype.
The concept of skin positivity involves accepting your skin and embracing the notion that ‘perfect’ skin doesn’t exist. Skin positivity certainly isn’t a new concept, but is slowly and steadily becoming more widespread. A couple of years ago, a few celebrities took to their social media pages to share their so-called ‘flawed’ skincare journey—unfiltered. And it was definitely a hard relate. Recently, some skin influencers and beauty content creators came forward to acknowledge their skin journey and the fact that loving your skin is all about embracing your imperfections, rather than hiding it behind a filter. This also triggered a movement late last year where many of them posted real skin textures with and without make-up to emphasise the fact that while you may have good skin, lighting, angles, genes, and other factors also play an important role in how it appears virtually and IRL.
Among the glass skin and mirror skin trends, it’s rather refreshing to see everyone move closer to a skin positive environment. So, the next time you reach out to a blurring filter to validate your skin’s health, think again. Accept your texture for what it is—completely natural!