• Elaine Denton

Authentic self or ‘Insta’ self? What the make up, poses and filters could be hiding...

did a post earlier this week on Instagram about how disappointing I find it when influencers and people promoting wellness and 'self love' won’t post pictures when they feel they are looking ‘less than their best’ or they use filters with dog ears over sized eyes in an attempt to distract.... and what makes this worse is they APOLOGISE for wearing no make up or not looking their best! 

Why apologise for your own existence? It's either a lack of self confidence about who you really or it's your 'Insta Ego' making you think you need to look 'Insta perfect' in order to be liked. 

So let's discuss the lack of self confidence. Been there, done that, bought the truck loads of concealer. I had 'bad skin' right up to the age of around 36. I had severe acne up to my late twenties and my flare ups hung around until I paid to get it sorted out....

Having acne severe enough for people to comment on SUCKS. You can't hide it. it's there for all to see. You get used to it, but other people don't. They talk to your spots. They make comments- one lady in the gym I worked at thought I had fallen over and grazed my forehead! I had to explain that I had adult acne. I was mortified at the time and wanted to be swallowed up in a hole. Your face is the FIRST thing everyone sees...and if you have anything on it that causes people to internally (or externally!) gasp, or feel sorry for you, it takes it's toll on your confidence. 

I hid behind make up from an early age. Nothing too dramatic, but my concealer was my life saver. My little camouflage stick. A barrier between me and the (real) world. This was a time before facebook and insta. Before photo shopping and filters were accessible to the general population and not just magazines. Before botox and being wrinkle free was the goal (no judgements here, I have had botox in the past as a corrective measure!) This was a time when all everyone saw was my actual face. 

Having my skin evaluated and 'fixed' made my life so much better. I can't begin to tell you how much happier it made me to finally be in control of the way my skin behaved. But guess what? Those old habits I picked up still hang around now... 

Avoiding eye contact 

Walking with my head bowed 

Getting physically close to people I don't know when in conversation

No close ups of my face on photos

I have become observant of these habits as I now know where they have come from. In my head I am still the early twenties 'sufferer' who people look at and feel sorry for, judged for my appearance. This is partly way I can be distant or hugely defence when I feel 'low', or meet new people.

Don't get me wrong, I think make up can be great fun, and I love to enhance my features with it. I love seeing people get adventurous with make up and I love seeing make up artists do their thing. What I feel is dangerous for all young impressionable teenagers out there is seeing a hugely contoured, made up face and thinking that's normal. To seeing the same people 'ashamed' of their faces without it. To being ashamed of wrinkles, scars and your vulnerability. Ultimately for some the un-made up face is like walking around naked. It's your 'this is me' moment. Influencers on all levels have a responsibility to the people they are reaching out to. Being authentic and telling people that it's ok to not be 'insta perfect' will go along way to creating a new generation of people that aren't in it for the ego. The being liked. The perfect angle, body and face.

For those that want to get your skin sorted, I highly recommend seeing a professional. I went to a GP but it didn't work for me. I either got topical lotions or prescribed 'the pill', which wasn't right but may work for you. I went to skin clinic enquiring about laser, but they were fantastic enough to explain the issue with my skin and give me the right skin care to stop the flare ups. And it had worked! Also the old clichés WORK: 

Find skin care products that are right for you

Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!

Get plenty of sleep 

Eat your greens

Understand that high intensity exercise, stress, alcohol and smoking will all affect your skin negatively- allow your body and skin time to recover after all and do more of the above when you need to 're-set'

Do Yoga! All that hanging upside down does wonders for your complexion!

So how about we start to truly like out faces, just as they are? The laughter lines that show all the fun we have. The frown lines which show the tough times we endured. The face which says 'hey, this is me, I give zero fucks about your judgement, as I am kind enough to not judge myself'



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