Like any skincare brand, we look for models to test out and shoot with our products from time to time. However, the last time we put a call-out for models, particularly models with acne, we were shocked by how difficult it was to find these individuals.
As an acne-treatment brand, we fully understand how many people struggle with this condition every day. Yet, we don't ever see blemishes in any professional shoots. Where has everyone gone to?
While there is still much work to be done, the world of beauty has been embracing diversity. Models of different shapes, sizes, and cultural/religious backgrounds can be seen in the heart of many campaigns. Regardless though, one thing seems glaringly apparent, people with skin imperfections like acne and eczema are yet to be welcomed.
Let’s be honest, though- are we amazed? While caring for your skin should be on everyone's priority list, the world has perpetuated a somewhat unrealistic standard for what unhealthy skin entails for years. By peddling retouched, pore-less skin, we have made everyday things like cellulite, stretch marks, and acne, well, abnormal. It also isolates a large group of people who, well, just shouldn't be feeling that way.
The great news is that things are changing. And here are some instances in which prominent faces within the fashion and beauty industry have pushed against this unrealistic standard. So, that's why we're listing some instances in which prominent faces within the the industry pushed back against these unrealistic standards.
1. Kadeeja Khan Vs. Loreal
This is probably one of the most well-known stories out there that exposed the extent of this problem. In 2018, Afghan beauty blogger Kadeeja Khan was dropped from a photoshoot for L’Oreal’s vegan hair dye. Kadeeja took her Instagram to voice her frustration, sharing the email an anonymous L’Oreal employee had sent her. The email stated that the cosmetic giant could not confirm her shoot because “L’Oreal can’t be involved with people with skin issues” and cited a “question of regulations.”
This response shocked and hurt the model. "To think we're supposed to live in an advanced society that not only ACCEPTS people of ALL walks of life but embraces all backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, and disabilities. Shame on you, L'Oréal," she wrote in her caption. She also told the UK publication, The Sun, that with this decision, the company is "promoting an image of a perfect beauty that simply isn't real."
Since then, the brand has apologized to the self-learned makeup artist and acne-positive influencer. They also clarified that the company doesn't have any policies against hiring models with acne. It seems like the two have made up since you can see Kadeeja openly using the brand’s new foundations in her latest post.
2. Designer Moto Guo models on the runway
When Malaysian fashion designer Moto Guo employed models with unconcealed acne to walk down the runway during the 2016 Milan Fashion Week, there were many mixed responses. Guo, known for pushing what’s acceptable within fashion, and back in2016, the decision to leave makeup to reveal acne-prone skin (and even enhance it in some instances)certainly made the headlines the next time.
Despite garnering sarcastic comments that questioned whether the designer’s choices attempted to make this common skin condition a fashion statement, it also successfully opened more extensive conversations about skin diversity within the industry.
3. Ruby Rose brings attention to cell-phone induced acne
After being shamed for her skin, Ruby Rose bares her natural face in her Instagram stories. The Pitch Perfect 3 actress explained that the breakouts resulted from cellphone interviews and sleeping on hotel pillows.
But while the breakouts are temporary, the unrelenting abuse and disgust towards the condition gave acne-shamers an excuse to go after the actress. Ruby Rose, however, was not one to take the punches sitting. In just two Instagram stories, she shut down the haters. "Yeah, it sucks..for me," she wrote over an honest selfie in response to unsolicited criticism of her skin. "One side of my face is clear, and the other is a mess. Dermatologist says it's from the bacteria all over the phone interviews…"
4. Chrissy Teigen takes to Social Media.
Chrissy Teigen has never shied away from expressing her opinions, especially on her social media. She has repeatedly discussed everything from her hormonal breakouts, stretch marks, and liposuction( on her armpits) on Instagram and Snapchat, even going as far as zooming in her on her skin.
As one of the most well-known faces in the modeling industry, her openness and honesty about her skin help make everyone else feel less self-conscious about their skin.
5. Kendall Jenner doesn't let "that shit stop her."
Although some may argue Kendall Jenner’s initial partnership announcement with Proactiv may have been a bit over the top for some, one can say it embodies how one is made to feel when breaking out. After all, if someone as famous and wealthy(with all their resources) could still be affected in such a meaningful way.
In her interview with Bustle magazine, she said, " I experienced [acne] in two different times in my life. One being high school when all you're trying todo is be accepted and be part of something, and I wouldn't even look people in the eyes when I would speak to them," she said. "The next time it came around, I was supposed to be this model who has everything together. That's never the case, first of all — good skin or not. But the whole world is looking at you, and it's like a magnifying glass on everything that you do and what happens to you."
After one fan expressed admiration for the model for “strutting her acne" openly during the Golden Globes celebrations in 2018, Kendall replied, "never let that shit stop you." Doesn't that sum up everything we've been trying to say in one perfect little tweet?
6. Taylor Hill goes filter/makeup-free on social media
There are many reasons to love Taylor Hill- and her transparency on Instagram is just one of them. The model has openly admitted to suffering from acne both from her personal Instagram and interviews.
When asked what message she has for other people suffering from the affliction, she told The Kit, "I would say it's all a state of mind. Just remember that true beauty really, genuinely does come from the inside. I've had the privilege of meeting a lot of amazing people in this industry, the most beautiful to me are the kind ones, the humble ones, the happy ones. You can be the most drop-dead gorgeous physically attractive person on the entire planet. Still, if you don't have something beautiful to say or you don’t believe in being kind, then you open your mouth and you’re no longer as beautiful.”
7. Lorde gets honest about unsolicited acne advice.
One of my favorite acne-positive influencers @mikkzazon said it best "People with acne are not walking billboards asking for skincare advice." Anyone with acne knows that getting unsolicited advice about skincare is part of a universal acne experience.
That's why Lorde opening up about all the stupid advice she receives daily was so relatable for so many people. "People are still like, you know what worked for me? Moisturizing! Coconut oil. The secret is coconut oil,” she revealed in a funny moment. “The worst is when people think you're dirty. "Do you wash your face? It's like, yes, I wash my face. I'm just genetically cursed".
8. Keke palmer does her makeup for us
Keke Palmer is honestly a ray of sunshine and easily one of the most likable people on the internet (and probably in real life). And her honesty about her PCOS-related breakouts only adds to her likeability.
She has stressed the importance of figuring out your skin needs, doing your research, and celebrating milestones in your skincare journey. She has unapologetically shared unfiltered photos of her acne, and scars are refreshing compared to the many airbrushed images out there. And last but not least, her IGTV makeup tutorial shows us her makeup process while sharing her experience of having acne in the entertainment industry is like chicken soup for the soul.