Model launches viral 'Free The Pimple' campaign to encourage women to embrace their acne
The impossible beauty standards that are heralded in glossy magazines, and now by so-called Instagram "models" continue to infuriate society at large. Not only is it hard not to feel the pressure to conform to these ideals, but they're also stringent - allowing very little room for alternative conceptions of what is physically desirable.
However, certain individuals have been using their platform to showcase more diverse body types, and to promote features that have historically been considered unattractive. Case in point: model Louisa Northcote has started a viral campaign to break down the stigma surrounding adult acne.
Certainly, while there has been encouraging progress in regards to the body positivity movement, it's apparent that there is still one area which is considered too taboo to be shown in editorial campaigns or on the runway: blemished skin.
While a number of celebrities and influencers have become increasingly outspoken about their skin conditions, the majority of us still feel the need to cover up blemishes, and any other unexpected marks that may pop up on our visages.
One Instagram movement which aims to combat the stigma surrounding "bad" skin is #FreeThePimple, which was created by Britain's Next Top Model finalist and fashion buying student, Louisa Nothcote. After choosing to embrace her adult acne, Louisa was inspired to encourage others to do the same, and accordingly created an online community for anyone who was experiencing the physical and emotional toll that acne can take on its sufferers.
Speaking to i-D, the 20-year-old asserted, "Body positivity is a powerful movement which has led to industry-wide embrace of models of all different body types."
"It has seen an embrace of people with stretch marks, an embrace of female nipples, an embrace of seeing women with their periods, and now it’s time to embrace your skin, which is why I have created #freethepimple — a movement that I hope will empower others to embrace the skin they’re in."
"I am part of a generation that is all about change and speaking up. I suffer with acne so therefore I guess I am not perfect but that is ok. I spent so many years covering it up, having it affect my day, affect my life and affect my mental health but now I embrace it as it is part of who I am," the model captioned a video of her speaking about her acne.
"I dream of the day there will be a model with acne printed in a magazine or on a billboard staring back at me, thankfully to our generation there is so much diversity in magazines etc these days with people of different body shapes and sizes and people from all different countries and religions however there still isn’t people with skin problems like acne in those magazines. I get messages daily from people thanking me and saying I am an inspiration showing my acne on social media so how amazing do you think they would feel opening a magazine and seeing someone just like them instead of a ‘perfect’ image. I would love to be that one."
The hashtag created by Louisa has been making the rounds on social media, and there are already over 400 #freethepimple posts on Instagram.
"Feeling good this summer, learning to consciously affirm myself with positive thoughts," one individual captioned their makeup-free selfie.
Another added, "I've struggled with acne for about 3 years, but in the past two months I've finally been able to embrace how I look without covering it up and in the past month I've felt confident enough to go out in public with absolutely no makeup on."
Well, Louisa should certainly be praised for her efforts to break down unattainable beauty standards. Good on her!