Should we be seeing more acne on TV and runways?

Model Kendall Jenner  has spoken out about her acne. Photographed by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin
Model Kendall Jenner has spoken out about her acne. Photographed by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

We’re so used to the ‘perfect skin’ narrative and it’s definitely unsurprising in the world of advertising where skin is airbrushed to perfection. On runways and TV this unrealistic societal expectation is also being perpetuated.

Approximately 54 percent of women older than age 25 have some facial acne, and a significant proportion of adults continue to be plagued by acne well beyond the teenage years.

A-list celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus (to name a few) have all experienced and spoken about their pesky breakouts.

READ MORE: Kendall Jenner opens up about acne struggle - Vogue deems it empowering, but Twitter disagrees

One of the few instances where we witnessed acne on the big screen was Greta Gerwig’s highly successful coming-of-age story, Lady Bird, where she made the decision to not conceal lead actress Saoirse Ronan’s acne.

Ronan, who said that she only started getting acne breakouts at the age of 21 felt that not concealing her skin would more accurately represent young women. We’re so starved of representation that Greta was praised for her “revolutionary” take.  

READ MORE: Mom of three bares her postpartum belly following years of battling an eating disorder

Based on a recent Instagram survey, 89% of participants felt that acne deserves more representation in film and television. The other 11% do not share those sentiments.

Here’s what social media users had to say:

I don’t think it’s needed. We don't need everything to be too realistic
Are you viewing a film for entertainment purposes or to spot a zit? One could always go watch a play as it’s more authentic. I’m aware that some people will feel more comfortable seeing acne present in films but isn’t the reason behind watching a film or TV to escape your own reality?
Although there should never be a stigma against it, I don’t think that certain disease processes/ chronic morbidities should be glorified. Body positivity is healthy and should be supported but people with these conditions should not be overly accepting of that level of health and should actively be seeking treatment for it because it can lead to serious health complications (especially skin lesions later in life in the case of acne).

Haibo everyone deserves representation. Especially because of the sensitive age most people are in at the time i.e. puberty. It definitely helps me normalise the fact that we all don’t have glowing skin all the time
It’ll break the stereotype that acne is ‘ugly’ and it’ll help people with self-confidence issues
No representation means that it’s being hidden as if it’s frowned upon when it’s just normal. It’s necessary to stop brainwashing kids into taking Accutane

Do you think we should be seeing more acne regularly in the media? Share your thoughts with us here.

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