There’s a new trend on a popular photo-sharing app dubbed as ‘Pimple Positivity’ that could give Insta-perfect selfies tough competition in terms of followers. Celebrities and influencers, who are rarely spotted without a hair out of place, are now taking to Instagram to bravely post pics of their skin conditions like Psoriasis, eczema and chronic acne.
Kim Kardashian West, who has been open about her battle with psoriasis and spoke about it on her reality TV show seven years ago, has shared images of red patches on her legs and midriff. Justin Bieber, too, posted an Instagram story about how ‘pimples are in’. A sentiment shared by model Kendall Jenner, actress Bella Thorne and TV star Lili Reinhart, who have all been open about dealing with acne. Social media influencer Busybee.Carys (Carys Gray) has also gone on to share snaps of her eczema, writing, “I have a skin condition called eczema and sometimes my skin is happy as Larry and sometimes it has flare-ups. It’s a big insecurity of mine and that’s fine. I’m learning to accept myself knowing that everyone has their own struggles and that’s what makes us unique and special.”
Clearly, pimple positivity is leading to ‘skin disease acceptance’, and is gaining traction online with hashtags such as #acne, #eczema and #skinpositivity throwing up millions of results. We asked experts if this could translate into a healing journey in real life.
Social media acts as a support system
Clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany explains, “Most of these ailments are psychologically-related, while some are genetic. They worsen when a person suffers from chronic stress or worries a lot. The moment people start talking about it or there’s an expression of an emotion, the processing of thoughts begins and there is where the healing starts taking place physiologically. Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with people with similar issues, so you don’t feel that it’s only happening to you.”
‘Talking about skin conditions helps build confidence’
Dermatologist Dr Geeta Mehra Fazalbhoy shares that she encourages people suffering from eczema and psoriasis to talk about their day-to-day struggle while living with these conditions. She states, “When celebrities and influencers share their stories, it gives people the confidence to deal with it as they no longer feel like they are alone. There’s awareness that conditions like eczema are caused by a foreign allergy and can lead to itching, while psoriasis occurs as the turnover of cells is wrong and it’s not contagious. Though it cannot be cured, it can be controlled. But the process is often time-consuming and can be an irritant to some.”
So, while Pimple positivity could end the trend of Insta-perfect selfies, that may not be such a bad deal if it gives survivors the confidence to break away from taboos, armed with a better understanding of how to cope with skin diseases.