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Mom, 28, posted her ‘raw face’ to normalise aging but was met with online vitriol: ‘Sun is eating you up’

‘It is quite baffling to me to see how negative people really can be,’ influencer says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Saturday 27 January 2024 11:11 GMT
Reneé Rapp admits she is 'ageist' on Watch What Happens Live

A young mother posted a picture of her “raw face” to show TikTok users what a real 28-year-old face looks like when it “hasn’t had any ‘work’ done,” but she was met with a mixed reaction.

In a viral TikTok video, influencer Courtney Ball gave her followers a look at her “raw face”, zooming in on her freckled complexion and sunkissed skin. In the overlaid text, she wrote: “Wrinkles, freckles, sunspots, imperfections, breakouts, discoloration... all very normal.”

Unfortunately, many trolls attacked Ms Ball’s looks in the comment section of the video, completely missing the kind message of her video. Some commented on what they deemed sun damage on her skin.

“Someone needs a hat,” one person wrote, while another added: “The sun is eating you up.”

“Stay out of the sun jeez woman,” someone else commented. “don’t look a day over 40,” a viewer snarked.

Ms Ball told Today that she wasn’t surprised by the negative reaction to the video, but didn’t take it personally. She explained, “I’m confident in the way I take care of myself, who I am and usually let negativity bounce off.”

However, she did note that the overwhelmingly negative reaction did make her feel disappointed. “It is quite baffling to me to see how negative people really can be, especially towards one another,” she said to the outlet. Thankfully, some people defended her.

“Why is everyone being so mean?” one TikTok user wrote. “I hope I look as good as she does when I’m 28 she’s so pretty,”

Another person commented, “People saying she looks older are obviously conditioned by social media what a 28yo should look like, She looks gorgeous and her age.”

Ms Ball told the outlet that her goal with posting the video was to show people what an unfiltered face at 28 looks like and buck the stigma surrounding aging. “I thought it might be a refreshing reminder in the online space to those who feel the pressure of getting work done (as I have many times at 28), that they don’t need to just because those around them have. They can rock their natural beauty,” she said.

The video now has over eight million views, with positive remarks now outweighing the negativity she faced when she initially posted the video. Despite the positivity, she has yet to post follow-up videos to address critics who claimed that she must not wear sunscreen because of the number of sunspots and freckles she has.

“For those who don’t know me personally, of course, they would assume I don’t wear sunscreen,” she told Today. “So (I posted the videos) mainly to make it a point that I do wear sunscreen.”

While in one video, she acknowledged that she had certainly “made some mistakes” with her skincare routine over the years, she said that her crow’s feet are common in her family and noted she’s had freckles since she was a child.

“I was a very naive young girl when I moved to a very tropical climate, therefore I did not know how to properly take care of my skin,” she said in the video. “I thought I was invincible, apparently.”

Ms Ball reiterated her original message, imploring people to love themselves as they are.

“True beauty radiates from inside. No amount of SPF, (plastic surgery), cream, retinol, etc. can make you more ‘beautiful.’ It comes from within,” she concluded.

As someone who once struggled with body dysmorphia and eating disorders, stressing the importance of self-compassion and love was important to her. “As a young girl, I was so fixated on being perfect, so with age I have realised that’s just not reality,” she explained. “To put it short – I did the work it took to learn how to love myself.”

She added to Today that she hoped that her vulnerability would encourage people to feel a lot more comfortable in their skin, and with the positive messages she’s gotten so far, she said that she feels like the video ultimately found the right audience.

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