Normalize seeing real skin
I've done an interview with Isabella @spottylittlething.
Despite having acne, Isabella refuse to hide her acne and be ashamed. I'm sure you'll gain huge value from how Isabella has become so confident.
First of all thank you so much you allow me to ask you a few questions. I see on your instagram you share some serious issues.
You’re very welcome charlotte! Thank you for asking me :)
I noticed you showed a picture - where you say: “Normalize seeing real skin”.
Can you tell what led you to do that - can you take us back to that moment? why did you suddenly have the courage to show your true self?
I have had acne since I was 9, I went on Roaccutane a few years ago which worked but at the start of this year my acne started to come back. Someone close to me had started struggling with their skin too. After seeing them get frustrated with how their skin looked I had the sudden realisation of how many years I had hidden my skin for, I decided I would no longer do that. I have accomplished so many things despite having acne and I couldn’t be bothered to keep hiding and being ashamed! I am a very strong feminist so I want to make sure everyone is confident to be themselves unashamedly.
Why do you think so many women hide behind makeup and face filters? Do you think it is social media that has pushed women to do it? or what about the beauty industry? Can you loop me in on your feelings around this topic? you also talked about comparing yourself to celebrities and beautiful people? and celebrity fan culture?
I think its only natural to want to hide behind make up and face filters. The need to do it is from a combination of social medias unattainable beauty standards, the beauty industry's fixation on ‘flawless’ skin and also how society works - women should be pretty. I refuse to be defined by how I look. You can be beautiful and have acne, you are not defined by your skin and nothing should hold you back from doing what you want! We idolise celebrities and beautiful people, people who look like they have it all and are perfect. There’s a quote I love, ‘nothing kills creativity like comparison’. I spent years comparing myself to celebrities and people in magazines, I could just see ‘ugly’ in my skin. Since I’ve actively tried to stop comparing myself to others, I have learnt to love myself, appreciate my achievements and enjoy my life so much more!
What’s your thoughts on the perfect flawless look?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with it as long as you know it is not real and it is not for everyday. I used to apply thick makeup every single day to the extent that I forgot what my actual face looked like! This meant when I saw my acne and scarring I was ashamed of it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking glamorous and flawless from time to time, you should always feel confident and I know when I wear make up it feels more glamorous.
Why do you think there is so much pressure to look and behave so perfect?
I think it comes from a few places, mainly ourselves! Every woman I know puts so much pressure on herself to be perfect, constantly comparing herself to others. I think it comes from the society, for generations women have been the homemakers and kept up the perfect facade for their neighbours and husbands, now there is the pressure for women to ‘have it all’ and to balance a family, a career and look flawless at the same time! Its only recently people have started talking openly about mental health, feeling stressed and being honest about their lives. I hope with this change people will allow themselves to just be happy!
Do you think it’s a matter of a sick culture where women do anything for a “like”?
To me, women can do whatever they like, whether it is for a like or not. If it makes them feel good they should do it! But I do think ‘likes’ create a negative culture of comparison. I’m guilty of it still but trying to stop, its hard not to compare things like likes when its all you see on social media!
You have chosen in public to show on IG you have acne and the struggles you go through. Can you share some of the hard emotions and feelings you’ve had around acne? When did it start for you and what have you gone through? Take us back to the beginning?
Goodness this is a very long story! I will keep it short but I first started getting acne when I was 9. I really strongly remember boys in my class commenting on the ‘bumps on my forehead’, people stare at me in the street when I have no makeup on, people ask why i don’t fix my skin, ask if i’ve tried certain products. Having acne is very hard, it's draining and I’ve cried so much about it. The hardest thing has always been others' comments making me feel ugly and insecure. As I was so young when my acne started I believed others comments and I felt so low about my appearance. I’m also midsize and wear glasses, totally the opposite to what is considered ‘beautiful’ by society. I was embarrassed about how I looked. I have tried so many different things to get rid of my skin and nothing worked until I took Roaccutane when I was 17. It worked amazingly and gave me so much confidence. That was the first time in my life I felt pretty and I felt confident. My biggest fear once my acne went away was if it came back. I always have had small hormonal break outs and everytime I would be petrified my acne would come back. It did at the start of 2020 and I’m actually grateful I got acne again. Its been long and its been hard but my acne makes me me! It’s given me the opportunity to learn how to love myself and spread positivity to others which is the most amazing thing! I am not necessarily beautiful by society's standards but I am beautiful to me and that's all that matters now!
How do you feel about makeup?
It surprises people sometimes but I love make up! I think its a great way to express yourself creatively but also its time we spend pampering and looking after ourselves. My problem with make up, is its easy to forget what you actually look like! I didn’t realise it was normal to have pores which is crazy to think now! As long as you know the flawless, poreless skin isnt real, make up is amazing and should be enjoyed. I love wearing it to put in a bit of extra effort sometimes too.
You’re such brave women for what you do, you are what I call a Rulebreaker #wearerulebreakers - you step up against the status quo. I’m sure it’s been a hard journey to where you are today.
I love that! Thank you very much. It’s been hard but so so worth it!
Please share any advice or final thoughts that come to your head. What’s your best advice for someone who has or goes through the same skin issues like you?
The main thing is, its okay to have acne. Its normal, its hard and its painful but you will get through it. You can be beautiful and have acne and it will never define you.
Thank you so much for your honesty. You are a POWER WOMEN, I admire.
Thanks Charlotte! was fun answering the questions. I hope you have a lovely day. Kindest Isabella.