“WTF is wrong with her face?”
“Her face is so ugly.”
“Seriously has she ever washed her face?”
“You look disgusting.”
These are just a few of the many disturbing comments that YouTuber, Em Ford, says she received after posting images of herself without makeup on social media.
In the video below, the vlogger behind My Pale Skin reveals her makeup-free skin to her 100,000+ subscribers. The cruel comments left on her bare-faced Instagram selfies spiral around her head before she goes on to (impressively) mask her blemishes. When Ford’s face is finally done up, she is showered with praise—that is, until people realize how different she looks with makeup vs. without it.
The praise quickly turns into accusations, and hateful followers attest that she’s “tricking” society into thinking she’s beautiful when she’s “actually not.”
As Ford’s film makes clear, there’s a stigma attached to sporting a face of heavy makeup to hide acne and other flaws.
But then again, these haters are nothing new: two months ago, a different beauty vlogger felt compelled to start a makeup-positive social media movement in an effort to pipe down the shamers and InstaTrolls alike that were blowing up her social media profiles with rude remarks. Fed up with the criticism, Nikkie of NikkieTutorials invited ladies of all different colors and skin types to upload half-makeup, half-bare selfies using the hashtag #ThePowerOfMakeup to show that they don’t wear makeup for other people; rather, they wear it for themselves.
Supporters of the movement explain that their decision to wear makeup is a personal choice—and one that doesn’t need any justification. The message is simple: If dolling yourself up makes you feel confident, then hell, go for it.
And as a sufferer of occasional spells of adult acne, let me tell you up front: blemishes are the absolute worse. I have my fair share of bad hair days and there are moments when I swear I weigh one thousand pounds, but nothing—I mean nothing—makes me want to jump back into bed faster than when I look in the mirror in the morning and see a mountain range of cystic acne popping up on my chin.
But despite my uncontrollable urge to hide under my covers for weeks at a time until my breakout dies down, my day must go on. I can’t call in sick because of a new pimple, so where do I turn? Makeup.
Makeup is amazing.
A little blush and contouring can transform my confidence from the lowest of the low to sky-high with the simple stroke of a brush. I wear makeup because it makes me feel good about myself, and I am thankful that there are women like Ford that are willing to put themselves out there and show that their “flawless” skin is simply a matter of technique.
I’ll never forget the relief I felt when I discovered that another one of my favorite YouTubers, Sierra Furtado, also suffered from less-than-perfect skin. Here I was, watching an Internet star with hundreds of thousands of fans that idolize and admire her for her beauty—and suddenly, that very same girl steps out into the cruel Internet world and bravely declares, “Hey, I have my flaws, too.” It was truly comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in my insecurities.
Yet when other people see public figures like Furtado, Ford and Nikkie without full faces of makeup, they act as though they’ve been personally betrayed.
“This is why I have trust issues,” one male social media user remarked.
It’s funny you say that, you kind gentleman you. Because your comment is actually why I have trust issues—people are nice to my perfectly covered up face, but what happens when that “face” is wiped off?
The comments left on Ford’s Instagram show me that when the foundation fades, society’s true colors come out. Beauty may only be skin deep but evidently in our world, that skin is still expected to be smooth, clear and free of any imperfection.
It’s a pretty disheartening realization, not to mention a hypocritical one. Girls are told they look horrifying when they don’t have makeup on, then condemned when they wear makeup because it’s “false advertising.” Adding fuel to the fire are those who claim that makeup is what causes breakouts in the first place, despite the fact that severe acne is hormonal and has very little to do with how much makeup is worn.
But luckily we have girls like Ford to remind us that we’re beautiful with makeup, and we’re still beautiful without it.
We knew long before the various social media movements that makeup is a pretty powerful tool, but Ford’s video proves that it’s the people behind the makeup that are even more powerful.