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A new wave of body-positive Instagram accounts wants you to celebrate acne


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Photo: Instagram/@pigss
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Since so much of your Instagram feed is probably filled with heavily-filtered photos (of both food and faces), it can be hard to know what’s real and what’s not. But a new wave of body-positive accounts wants you to know not everyone’s skin is flawless IRL, sans filter—and that’s something to be celebrated.

Yep, the acne-positivity movement is taking storm online. Skin issues are so common, yet so many feel the need to hide as soon as a new blemish manifests. But between celebrities opening up about their skin issues and body-image activists taking a stand with acne-positive Instagram accounts, people are starting to look at themselves in a totally new, more confident light.

Here are 4 Instagrammers who are celebrating their acne—and think you should, too.

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“I don’t understand why you don’t go to the DR and get pills to get rid of your acne 😑” “Just get roaccutane already 😷” “are you on accutane? 🤨” “are you taking pills for your face?! 😨” – Seeing as we’re asking each other questions 🧐, here are some of mine 👩🏼‍⚕️… – Have you ever taken plan B? 🤔 Are you currently taking antibiotics? 🤕 Ever taken Viagra? 🧐 You have a baby – Did you not take birth control?! 🤓 Have you ever seen a Dr? What for? 🤨Who is your Dr? 🧐 Do you have any infections? 🤕 Any STI’s? 🤢 What did your doctor tell you during your appointment? 😑. Do you have a mental illness? 🤔 any health issues? 😨 Do you have any diseases?? 😳 What is your diagnosis? Tell me your medical history! 😷. – Awkward huh? 💁🏼‍♀️ yeah tell me about it… 🤔. – How would YOU feel if someone stopped you on the street 🤷🏼‍♀️ and asked you any of the above? Online = Real life. There’s no difference. #ifyouwouldntlikeitdontdoit . – And if you don’t see any issues with asking for someone to disclose their medical history… then why don’t you go to therapy for your lack of compassion towards other people? 💁🏼‍♀️ but here’s the thing… I’m not a doctor 👩🏼‍⚕️ so y’know, who am I to say you need it? 🌚 – #mypaleskinblog #skinpositivity #youlookdisgusting

A post shared by Em Ford (@mypaleskinblog) on

1. Em Ford

Instead of hiding her acne, UK-based Em Ford is showing it off to her million followers on her account @mypaleskinblog. The self-taught makeup lover posts tutorials to help others cover their blemishes, but she isn’t afraid to highlight what’s underneath her makeup as well.

“Acne is a massive insecurity for people all over, and I truly believe that the only way to truly alleviate these worries, insecurities, and fears, is to have more women like yourself, who live their lives with a kickass IDGAF attitude about their acne and talk about how completely normal it is,” she wrote in a post. “I strongly believe that the more we talk about these things, the less taboo these conversations will become, the less judgmental we become of others, and the less insecure we become of ourselves.”

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Yeah my skin isn’t perfect but neither are you

A post shared by Hailey Wait 🌙 (@pigss) on

2. Hailey Wait

Hailey Wait might only be 18, but she’s already steps ahead of people twice her age when it comes to self-acceptance—acne included. The “pro pizza face” vegan posts inspiring messages to her followers on @pigss, making it clear that skin issues are no big deal.

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{{ I didn’t expect this many people to respond to this post. I want to help everyone asking what I use and I will make a short video later today explaining what i do. I have a final in like an hour so I’m just tying to study right now. My skin isn’t perfect. But it has come along way and I want to share the progress with everyone}} I just wanted to make a little post about skin because I’ve struggled with mine so much, and i really feel like I need to stop pretending like i haven’t. Especially in the industry I am trying to get into, it can be very deceiving about body image and skin. This is my skin at its worst on the lefts and now on the right. This was a hard time and I was very bothered by it. Didn’t want to leave my room or even have my own parents look at me. I still have scarring left which I am working with a doctor to fix because to be a model you basically need to be “perfect”. Which no one is and I am not claiming to be perfect at all. There are worse things that can happen to you in life than acne. But getting acne takes a really big toll on your life. I’m willing to answer any questions anyone might have. Just needed to get this out there because it is apart of who I am and my story. ( this was really hard to do so please don’t say anything mean 🙃)

A post shared by Brianna Lopez (@briannagabrielaa) on

3. Brianna Lopez

Even though Brianna Lopez is a model, she’s not afraid of supposed imperfections. Rather than only posting flawlessly edited photos from shoots on her Instagram account, she keeps it real about her acne struggles over the years.

“To be a model, you basically need to be ‘perfect.’ Which no one is and I’m not claiming to be perfect at all,” she wrote. “There are worse things that can happen to you in life than acne. But getting acne takes a really big toll on your life.”

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What’s really ugly, acne or your perception?

A post shared by Kali (@myfacestory) on

4. Kali Kushner

Kali Kushner—who’s behind the account @myfacestory—is super-open and -honest about her acne journey, sharing everything she uses to try and heal it—be it different diets or products—with plenty of inspiring makeup-free selfies along the way.

“Today I was going to put on some concealer for class. I sat there for a minute before deciding I didn’t need it,” she wrote. “My spots aren’t ugly; they’re fierce AF. If someone else thinks otherwise that’s their own problem and if this is the ‘worst’ thing I have in my life right now, things are going pretty damn good, I’d say.”

These are the top acne spot treatments, according to dermatologists. Or, get the 411 on treating acne for women of color.

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