Beauty

Why we need to talk about this YouTube video

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Be it spots, dark eye circles or scarring, we all have a facial feature that we're unhappy with and are guilty of fussing over.

And having flawless skin, in particular, is the epitome of modern beauty ideals. We only need to step into a department shop's beauty hall to pick from a plethora of products that promise coverage of unwanted skin blemishes.

But three months ago, one acne-suffering beauty blogger decided to share images of herself without makeup on social media.

Em Ford, who runs the YouTube makeup channel My Pale Skin, received thousands of messages in response from people all over the world who suffer or have suffered from acne. However, not all of the comments were positive. 

Words such as "disgusting", "ugly" and "has she ever washed her face?" were thrown back at the 26-year-old.

A post shared by Em Ford (@mypaleskinblog) on

This week, the blogger, who is also a film maker, unveiled a video that revealed her acne alongside the vitriolic comments. But she also went once step further, by including footage of the layers of foundation and concealer she applies to cover her spots, the praise she receives in response to her transformation ("beautiful", "amazing", "so pretty") and then, once again, an equally negative reaction from commentators: "you wear too much make-up", "this is misleading", "trust no f****** b**** with makeup". 

While we know the internet can be a breeding ground for trolls, Em's experience shines a very bright light on how we as a society react to imperfections and even those with a full face of make-up. 

At the end of the video - which clocked up over 1 million views in a day - Em grabs a makeup wipe and starts removing all that she painted on 60 seconds before as if she's saying goodbye to the pressure of covering up her skin and conforming to an unrealistic ideal.

"I wanted to create a film that showed how social media can set unrealistic expectations on both women and men," writes Em. "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 - no matter how flawed you feel, no matter how upset you may about the way you look."

We have to commend Em for drawing attention to such an overlooked and deeply poignant issue. It's time we realised that there's no one definition of beauty. 

Watch Em powerful video titled You Look Disgusting below. 

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