Social media filters and Facetune can make many of us forget what reality looks like. Sure, photoshop skills were around for many years and widely used in print campaigns to slim bodies, change the colour of hair, smooth out wrinkles, hide or erase blemishes — or what might be distractions in an overall composition of an image. These tools were at the hands of art directors but today, everyone and anyone has easy access to paid and free apps to help us manipulate our looks even from the tiniest blemishes.

The companies behind these apps are cashing in. The mega popular selfie app Facetune that “empowers” users to take control of their body image became Apple’s most popular paid app in 2017. And in an TechCrunch article (July 2019), Light Tricks, the parent company of Facetune reportedly landed a $136 million in Series C funding at a post-money valuation of $1 billion.

So, what’s the harm? Many of us can see it and brush it off but maybe not everyone.  Have we gone too far?

What happened to showing and accepting what’s normal? Over the past few years, we’ve seen a strong movement by brands in bringing a broader range of relatable body shapes and sizes into our media consumption (thank you!). Editorial pages and ad campaigns are showing more people who look like us.  The days of being taught that “aspirational” is a certain image are slowly fading. Slowly. But it’s going in the right direction. We are more accepting of the fact that one size does not fit all. Yes, we want to see more of Celeste Barber as well as Kendall Jenner — Celeste, by the way, is just as influential but wouldn’t it be nice able to recognize Kendall or any of her sisters  IRL, should we ever run into her at Starbucks? I know, who cares? Well, maybe millions of teens globally who line the pockets of the Kardashians and everything they shill. But what is it doing to their mental health? And not just young folks. Us older sisters can sometimes too feel sub-par. Then this caught my attention. I learned about how skincare company, Dermalogica is taking the Cancel Acne Censorship Pledge.  September happens to be Acne Awareness Month and we too are invited to do the same.

What does this mean? With many corporations known for censoring acne and other imperfections in their advertising and the popularity of beauty filters, young consumers are set up against unrealistic beauty standards on a daily basis. But did you know this? In North America, there are no standards set in place to stop advertisers from perpetuating this unrealistic cycle and the effect it can have on young consumer’s mental health.

Dermalogica has taken a bold step forward in doing their part to drive discussion and take a stance on acne censorship. In addition to updating all brand codes for imagery, Dermalogica.ca is collecting signatures to cancel acne censorship. With every signature $1 will be donated with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

You can join in and sign the pledge here: https://www.dermalogica.ca/pages/acne-awareness

 

 

*lead in photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash