Social media certainly doesn’t help. The latest aesthetic in makeup is called the ‘clean girl’ trend, where the emphasis is on clear skin, slicked down hair and minimal makeup. By that extension, could imperfect skin then be equated to being ‘unclean?’ Anyone who has suffered with acne and been told to wash their face rigorously would agree. Even in the most ‘body positive’ representation in mainstream media, one would struggle to find people with skin imperfections that convey that it’s okay to have scars and spots.
This is where the online HS communities have helped the most. Being surrounded by people who understand your experience is a welcome relief. From the many strangers I’ve interacted with, I have learned that sometimes, we can tend to magnify our own illness in our mind and often assume that people will react negatively to it. So whether it’s a new partner or even a friend, it doesn’t hurt to be transparent — as long as you’re comfortable with it.