many years ago i used an extremely sharp portrait of myself shot in capture one as the opening page of my retouch portfolio –one side retouched, one side unretouched. why? because i suffered from severe acne. my face was full of pimples and redness and thus the perfect canvas to showcase my beauty retouching skills. i meticolously removed all my pimples, all my marks, all my scars. retouching that image was for me cathartic in a sense. i could finally imagine my face without acne, i could finally clean it all out like some kind of dirt with a sanitizer spray. finally, i could see my ideal me, the person that *i was supposed to be*. as a junior retoucher, i was (and still am) obsessed by retouching the skin to make it look 'natural'. what gets to stay within the real of 'natural', 'normal', 'acceptable' opens a whole realm of questions. it implies that acne isn't natural. acne is a condition, of course, but it's the normality of many people for many years of their lives. you want to find a solution to it, but in the meantime you still need to live your life with your face, and your face is there naked in front of everybody, 24/7. i spent so much time just hiding my acne and obsessing over it, not even tiying my hair for the shame of showing more of my pimples of cheeks and jawline. this project meant so much for me emotionally and i am grateful we had the opportunity to work on it as a studio. it's only about time that the beauty industry will make space for showing acne instead of always obsessively and routinely retouching it out –no nuances, no exceptions. it happened with wrinkles, it needs to happen with acne too. i dream of dazzling make-up editorials on faces with acne. i dream of a beauty that doesn't hide but honours. we need total acceptance and more real faces, now more than ever. #skinneutrality.
/image from laroche posay campaign, skin is more than skin.