why showing natural skin shouldn’t come as such a shock
It’s not like we don’t all have flaws.
Photography Sophie Mayanne
Earlier this week, Christina Aguilera shared a photo of her unmade-up skin and a chorus of “Yas Kweeeeeeeen”s reverberated all around the web. “Christina Aguilera fans go into ecstasies over the star's FRECKLES as she continues to flood her Instagram with stunning bare-faced photos,” read the Daily Mail’s headline.
In theory, this is all good news. The world is responding positively to a bit of natural, unmade-up, non-Photoshopped, gorgeously freckled celebrity skin. But why should showing that still come as such a shock? If we really want to dismantle normative standards of beauty, shouldn’t we stop fetishing ever single person who dares to be different, treating them as if they’re doing something totally radical?
If 2017 was the year of body positivity, then 2018 is the year of skin positivity. The floodgates are finally open; more and more individuals are freeing their skin from the shackles of make-up, filters and Photoshop. There’s New York-based artist Peter Devito, who takes stunning portraits of people with acne, accompanied by empowering slogans; British photographer Sophie Mayanne, whose Behind The Scars project explores the beauty behind physical imperfection; Canadian model Aleece Wilson who loves her freckles so much she named her instagram account after them; and Kadeeja Khan, the beauty blogger whose candid tutorials about suffering from bad skin have made her a huge hit online.
There’s no question that these trailblazers should be celebrated and shouted about from the digital rooftops, what we shouldn’t do is approach them with shock, wonder, and amazement. Because the whole point is to normalise it, right?
With that in mind, and as the summer months approach (cue: obligatory body baring) let’s just take a minute and appreciate the skin we’re in, lumps, bumps, scars, marks, freckles pigmentation, warts and all.