“Perfection isn’t real.”
If you’ve ever stumbled upon a popular beauty blogger’s Instagram page, chances are their feed is filled with awe-inducing makeup looks paired with flawless skin and perfectly-tousled waves. After a few photos, it’s hard not to feel envious of their glowing cheekbones, perfect liner and sculpted brows, but blogger My Pale Skin a.k.a. Em Ford is trying to show the more realistic side of makeup tutorials—and how to love yourself either way.
For the past few months, the London-based retired model (she says she “hated” the industry) has been posting before and after makeup photos to prove that nothing is, in fact, as perfect as it seems.
One caption reads: “I wasted so many years of my life chasing perfection, and you know what I found? A hollow empty shell of myself when I looked in the mirror.” Em opened up about her battle with adult acne during Acne Awareness Month in June, but yesterday, she proved that not everyone finds her makeup tutorials inspiring in a video called “You Look Disgusting.”
Em decided to take real comments people left on her photos and juxtapose them next to her face to show the reality of internet bullying. Comments like “I can’t even look at her” and “Ugly as f–k” appear next to her makeup-free skin, and as she puts on makeup, we start to see more positive words like “You look so stunning” and “You’re so beautiful.” Then, the makeup shaming sets in.
“Imagine waking up next to her in the morning–she still looks like s–t” claims one person, while another says, “You’re so ugly, that’s why you wear makeup.” The words bring Em to tears until she regains confidence to take off her makeup with comments of other people that identify with her struggle. Words like “Acne makes me feel worthless,” “I get bullied because of my skin,” and “Makeup makes me feel good” appear until Em is finally back to her makeup-free self.
Em says she’s “received thousands of messages from people all over the world who suffer or have suffered from acne, an insecurity or self confidence issues” on her YouTube page. “I wanted to create a film that showed how social media can set unrealistic expectations on both women and men. One challenge many face today, is that as a society, we’re so used to seeing false images of perfection and comparing ourselves to unrealistic beauty standards that it can be hard to remember the most important thing–you ARE beautiful.” Hey girl, you are too.