Social media can often feel heavily curated with filtered, Photoshopped images galore. So we love that we’ve recently been seeing more and more social media influencers embracing so-called imperfections such as acne and eczema and putting them on display for their followers to see. Here, five times social media stars got real about their skin.
Karina Irby, co-founder of Bikini Body Burn, took to Instagram recently to share an unretouched photo of herself in a bikini with visible eczema and cellulite (above). “One of my goals this year is to create normality to a few seriously common things people world wide are dealing with day to day,” she writes in the caption. “For me this is eczema and cellulite, and together they’re not the most flattery combo. I wanted to share this image showing off my angry skin and cellulite to help raise awareness that this is normal.” Irby’s post has received over 68,000 likes (and counting) and nearly 2,000 comments from people sharing their own struggles with body image.
Last year, Instagram star Carys Gray posted a before-and-after photo of her face with and without makeup that quickly went viral. In the first selfie, her face looks completely flawless; in the other, she is makeup-free with a noticeable, painful-looking eczema flare. “When my eczema isn’t under control, it’s very blotchy, sore and I can’t wear any makeup,” she writes. “Both me, both real and both totally acceptable.” Gray used her influence (she has more than 539,000 followers) to share an important message that the images you see on Instagram aren’t always as they seem. “[H]ere’s a reminder that next time you see something on social media that you think is ‘goals’ that it’s not the full story,” she says. Gray used the hashtag #REALITYCHECK to remind us all that sometimes we need one.
Self-taught makeup artist Bronya Humphreys (@bronya_h) has turned her eczema into gorgeous works of art by covering up the scaly, red patches around her eyes with intricate designs. In a recent before-and-after photo that’s received more than 100,000 likes, she opened up about trying to ignore some of the “hateful” comments she receives and stressed the importance of self-love. “I am not my skin condition,” she writes. “I am a lovely, caring, beautiful human.”
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Instagram star Haley Wait (@pigss) recently went viral for posting foundation-free selfies with her cystic acne visible to her 132,000 followers. In one post, she clapped back at people who were trying to diagnose her breakouts. “Hey can we all agree to just stop sending me acne advice?” she writes. “I know the intent is good a lot of times but if I didn’t ask, then I don’t need it. It’s just kind of insulting tbh. There’s more to me than my acne. I get thousands of messages a DAY about my acne, and I’m certain that most of you aren’t dermatologists. It’s not as simple as washing your face and drinking water. Thank you.”
Australian fitness blogger Beck Jackson often talks about having imperfect skin on social media. A few days ago, she called out memes that are critical of women who wear makeup (above). “Oh my gosh I am sick to DEATH of reading comments and seeing jokes like this all over the Internet,” she writes. “NEWSFLASH- it’s not nice to tell a woman that their natural self is worth any less than their made up self because it’s comments like these that create self confidence issues within women.” Jackson also recently shared a makeup-free photo where she opened up about her struggle with acne. “Im [sic] basically just writing this post to show people that they’re not alone, even if you aren’t struggling with acne, everyone struggles with an insecurity of some sort, so let me offer these words of advice: imperfections are only skin deep, there is literally so much more to you than the way you look.”