In a virtual sphere with frequent clickbait-y beauty trends, this particular one brings a fresh wave of transparency.
Today, a beauty trend can kickstart a cultural movement–thanks to our societal digital dependence. And, given the hold of social media, its transition from residing virtually in the monopolized hands of influencers to steadily meandering into every girl’s DIYs and makeup hacks seems only logical. However, now more than ever the immersive nature of a beauty trend seems to impact us in new and different ways.
From menstrual masking and crying girl makeup trends to cold girl makeup aesthetics–Instagram and TikTok can be expeditiously overwhelming to navigate and needless to say the birthplace of toxic beauty. Surprisingly though, the latest beauty trend to acquire our screens and attention isn’t virulent altogether–women are taking to social media to show their makeup in different lights, which reveals their natural and true skin texture–sans filter.
In a sea of neck-deep reality-altering trends–I’m looking at you Lensa AI–this skin-forward approach champions the lacking authenticity on social media. While it may seem like we have progressed to a more inclusive and accepting space pushing the beauty discourse forward, concrete action remains to be taken. Think about it–has social media altered the way you perceive yourself or your body? Do you feel better or worse after doom-scrolling in bed at 2 am? Unfortunately, more often than not the answer to the question is the latter.
Let’s be honest though–commemorating the arrival of skin texture on the woke social media scene isn’t modish, however, even though a handful of beauty creators and experts have acknowledged and showcased how skin can look under different circumstances, there’s no denying that Instagram filters have photoshopped our perception of beauty standards perpetually. Hence, realistically–there’s no substantial change in the movement, yet beyond occasional skin-positive tokenism. However, the onset of this trend shatters the punishingly toxic beauty stereotypes we have conjured up for ourselves and enforced religiously; with heavy influences from Instagram in India and TikTok in the West of course.
By displaying the before and after of authentic skin texture with a full face of makeup on in various lights, this beauty trend might be a sigh of relief in our overstimulated and fatigued virtual world. From an audience point of view, the trend was well received with comments like, “some people just have really good skin but most of the time it’s all just lighting and filters” and “texture is normal”. Compellingly, this beauty trend also encourages individuals to stop comparing their skin textures with the virtual appearances of others, as skin types are inherently different and molded based on genetic and environmental factors.
So next time you’re replicating an influencer’s makeup tutorial video and frantically trying to minimise the appearance of your pores, bear in mind that they’re the most normal thing in the world, and don’t (read can’t) lessen your beauty in any shape or form. While we can’t expect overnight transformations when it comes to skin positivity in our perspective or by extension society’s, what we can do is embrace our pores, pigmentation, scars, marks, or any idiosyncrasies that shape us.
Having said that, it must be acknowledged that making a statement about skin texture–a physical feature that comes organically to us all–shouldn’t need the “viral” status to garner acceptance. But if that’s what it takes to foster change online, so be it.
This article was originally published on Vogue India.