Em Ford
Em Ford

Skin positivity: The latest trend taking the beauty world by storm

Embrace your imperfections

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 31 January 2018 16:39

A movement has been building in the social media sphere. A movement which not only accepts a person’s imperfections, but celebrates them.

Skin positivity is the latest trend that’s been taking the beauty world by storm.

While Instagram is typically filled with photos of airbrushed, impossibly perfect individuals, now people are using the platform to show that they love themselves for who they are, flaws and all.

However, it’s not just about posting the odd make-up free selfie here and there.

There is a huge stigma surrounding skin issues, something that Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at 55 Harley Street, feels very strongly about.

“Skin positivity is about confidence, self-love and reducing the stigma and shame that can be associated with visible skin conditions such as acne, scarring, or birthmarks to name a few,” she told The Independent.

“Much of the stigma around skin disease comes from lack of understanding of these conditions.

“The more we start seeing diversity in the media, the better the opportunity to break barriers down.”

Dr Mahto began struggling with cystic acne more than 25 years ago when she was 12 years old, and has continued to do so ever since.

“I spent many years feeling self-conscious about the way that I looked growing up and then when I became a dermatologist, there were days I felt like a fraud,” she said.

Dr Mahto wanted to show that she accepts her skin’s imperfections, which is why she posted a photo of her acne on Instagram.

“I think many silent sufferers feel overwhelming relief when they realise it is not just them,” she said.

Struggling with a skin condition behind closed doors can lead to a variety of mental health issues such as depression, negative body image and suicidal thoughts.

Dr Mahto explained that this is known as “psychodermatology”.

That’s why it’s more important now than ever before to show people who are dealing with skin problems that not only are they not alone, but they shouldn’t feel ashamed.

Em Ford’s video “You Look Disgusting” evoked a deep emotional response from Dr Mahto, as it shows the YouTuber removing flawless make-up to reveal her acne underneath.

The video, which currently has over 27 million views, also included some of the comments people had left on social media about Ford’s acne, such as “Her face is so ugly” and “Seriously… has she ever washed her face?”

Since posting the video in 2015, Ford has received thousands of messages of support from fellow acne sufferers from all over the world.

“As a society, we’re so used to seeing false images of perfection that it can be hard to remember that we are all perfect as we are,” Ford tells The Independent.

“When I developed acne, my self-confidence tanked. I felt incredibly low, and self-conscious about it.

“To now see other women proudly sharing their skin makes me so happy - and I am waiting for the day where it is no longer ‘taboo’ to post a bare-faced image - but completely normal and natural."

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