How to Feel Confident with Acne

Lifestyle

We've all been there: the feeling when you wake up, go to the mirror, and suddenly this feeling of dread washes over you. As teens who live in a society with impossible beauty standards, a breakout can feel like the end of the world. Here are some tips on how to feel beautiful, even with "imperfections".

Perspective

for example, this girl turning her acne into art

While I often scrutinize and panic over every small blemish (and the scar as a result of my anxious picking), one day when I felt completely self-conscious about my skin's texture, my godmother told me that my skin looked beautiful, and it made my day. It also made me realize that I admire other people's features, and find acne gorgeous, almost like an accessory that accents their beauty.

So think of it this way - don't let your skin hold you back from doing things you normally would. Don't let it affect your confidence, because trust me, nobody else looks at you and sees your pimples or scars, they look at you and see how truly stunning you are.

Your skin should not define who you are, and it should never determine how you feel about yourself, despite the fact that it is easier said than done. You will always be your harshest critic, so go easy on yourself, and change your perspective. Following acne-positive influencers, reciting self-affirmations, or hearing from another person that you are loved and enough, are just a few methods to start your journey of self-acceptance.

Loving your "Flaws"

image source and article on acne as beautiful

Acne is not a flaw, society is. But you know what, today you can screw society. No one gets to define what is a "flaw" or what isn't, and no one should be able to label your skin as something you should be ashamed of. Whenever you open Tiktok, Instagram, Youtube, or any form of social media, you're most likely to be swiping through a for you page full of gorgeous girls with clear, smooth skin. Social media and the trends that circulate, such as "glass skin", the "clean look", and models or tv show characters with gorgeous bodies and spotless skin. As a society, women are taught to pit themselves against one another. We are raised to view blemishes as flaws, when they only enhance our beauty. So today, don't let society get to you - embrace those pretty acne scars or an uncovered whitehead. Give yourself a break and love the skin you've got <3

Debunking beauty standards

a gorgeous model showing off their skin

Beauty is pain. Pain is beauty. It won't hurt so badly once you look like those girls, once you achieve that standard. You know the girls, in fact, from another girl's point of view, you might even be one of them. The ones with skin so silky you could float on it, the effortless glow, and the untextured surface. But here's the thing you might not know: those girls aren't real. They exist in your head, built off of society's twisted standards of beauty. Often, those girls are lonely, insecure, and susceptible to the pressure of needing to live up to today's standards.

Social media has perpetuated unrealistic beauty ideals, which can be seen through TV teens, played by older actors, always having flawless skin, which just isn't realistic for real teenagers or anyone. When we see these characters on TV or on social platforms, it can be hard not to envy the exciting lives they lead, and the privileges they get from being pretty by possessing the perfect skin. Editing of your skin's texture through innovations like filters has led to the idealization of clear skin. These constant comparisons of beauty are proven to have detrimental effects on mental health, particularly for younger audiences.

Your skin might not look like a celebrity's, but it is beautiful just the same. Let's normalize loving ourselves and flaunting our acne because it is a part of who we are. Your skin holds the crescent of your eyes, the bow of your lips, and your body has been with you through so much. So don't view your breakout as bad or unattractive because they only accentuate so many more of your amazing features.

You are beautiful because of your skin, and most importantly, what's underneath.

Audrey Wu
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Audrey Wu is a freshman in high school in Washington DC. She's passionate about activism for topics such as women's rights, climate change, and Asian-American rights. Audrey is an ENFP and loves to read, write, and daydream about the world around her.