Imperfection vs Flawless: Media Portrayal of Skin and Beauty

15 May Imperfection vs Flawless: Media Portrayal of Skin and Beauty

It isn’t any secret that we live in a world obsessed with perfection. Whether it’s perfect legs, perfect arms, perfect butts or any other part of the human body, it seems like we constantly have perfection thrown in our faces. Celebrities on the pages of magazines and models on homepages of the Internet portray flawless skin and perfect bodies. Although it’s commonly known that these images have been altered to erase any imperfections, for some reason we still compare ourselves to these unrealistic standards – and we still try and do everything we can to be flawless. And that needs to stop.

No One’s Perfect

Pop artist, Lorde, recently made headlines when she tweeted a picture of herself taken the same day as another photo released by a media outlet. The difference in the pictures was obvious: The one tweeted by Lorde hadn’t been digitally altered and showed an acne breakout the side of her face, while the other that had been released by a media outlet had been photoshopped to clear up her skin. Lorde said she tweeted her untouched photo because she didn’t want teens or any woman out there to think that she was perfect because the truth of the matter is that no one is perfect.

Sure, some people may have clearer skin than others, but acne breakouts are common for both teenagers and adults. Lorde’s attitude should translate into many women’s lives. Just accept that you’ll never have perfect skin, no matter how you treat it or what products you use, because even when your skin is at its healthiest, it will always have some flaws. So the next time you find yourself flipping through the pages of Vogue, talking trash to yourself about flaws you see on your face that you don’t see on the faces in the magazine, remind yourself that probably have the same flaws you do – they’ve just been erased using technology.

Don’t Stress About It

When you try to achieve a perfect complexion, you’re creating stress for yourself. Think about the time you spend looking in the mirror, obsessing over any little imperfection, and trying everything you can to make it go away. There are two huge problems here, and the first is stress. Stress can cause a lot of harm to your body, including releasing hormones into your bloodstream that can actually increase the chance of your skin breaking out. So, stressing over your imperfections is probably only going to worsen them. The other issue is falling into the trap of “trying everything possible” to help your skin. The more you put different potions and creams and miracle ointments or DIY treatments on your skin, the more you run the risk of irritating your skin. And when you irritate your skin, you run the risk of causing your skin to flare up or break out even more. And then you won’t even know which of the two dozens things you just did made it worse – or may have helped if you had tried each one at a time.

Health, Not Perfection

So, if the goal isn’t to have flawless skin then what is the goal? The key is to have healthy skin. While there are some things that you cannot control, doing what you can to take care of your skin is something you can control. The best thing to do is understand your skin’s specific issues, and the best way to determine and treat them is to make an appointment with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can assess your skin, determine your specific skin problems and recommend the best plan of action for your skin care.

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