Today we present a case study to reflect on the concept of perfect beauty and on how not to cross the fine line between “wanting a well-groomed look” and “obsession with perfection”. The protagonists? The pores of the skin.
Your skin has pores – but so does Jennifer Lopez, Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian – and there’s no reason to hide it. Yet, why is it almost impossible to find a shot that is devoid of Instagram filters ready to eliminate all traces? The reason is very simple: the ideal of perfect beauty it does not contemplate the presence of imperfections, including pores. A problem not only for self-esteem, but also because demonizing something not only natural, but also useful as pores can, transform self-care into an obsessive search for perfection. Or, on the contrary, the excessive Body Positivity fervor could come to condemn those who just want to maintain a well-groomed appearance and, yes, disguise some pimples. The reality, in fact, is that perfect beauty does not exist and the only sensible way to talk about beauty is by focusing on uniqueness, naturalness and health.
The perfect beauty that eliminates even what is useful
The pores of the skin are just one example of how, often, the standards of perfect beauty require you to get rid of something absolutely natural, hip dips and pores for example. Literally demonized due to their unpleasant appearance, the pores of the skin play a fundamental role in ensuring a healthy and hydrated appearance to the face. And – spoilers! – everyone has pores, even those who obsessively delete them from every photo on social networks. A perfect example of how certain beauty standards are completely unrealistic: how can we expect to eliminate something from the face that is not only very natural, but that keeps the skin healthy? A risky practice, which can lead to a real obsession with skincare. And looking for results that will never come because, simply, impossible to obtain.
Skincare can become pathological and harmful to the mind. In fact, the search for an ideal of perfect beauty can bring insecurities to the surface and even turn into a small obsession. Rachel Krause, on Refinery29, talks about how her 10-step, 25-minute skincare routine has become nothing more than a reflection of her obsession with control, logic and precision. The goal? Achieve the perfect complexion. An impossible goal, especially because in front of the mirror it is not possible to use photoshop and transform the skin into the canvas without imperfections that show advertisements and social networks. The result is an unhealthy relationship with your skin and with beauty in general, made of unattainable standards.
Fighting perfect beauty doesn’t mean giving up self-care
The main goals of skincare are only two: keep the skin healthy and take a moment of relaxation to pamper yourself. This is why trying to minimize dilated pores does not mean giving in to the canons of imposed beauty. A healthy diet and specific products for your skin type, in fact, are part of normal skin care. A healthy and necessary habit to keep the face healthy and, yes, also free of wrinkles and imperfections. Wanting to look your best, in fact, is a right and not a cause for shame. Just like showing the authenticity of your skin type without filters (and not even a veil of concealer). The only duty you have towards your skin, in fact, is to make sure that it is healthy and protected from what could damage it: choosing to add an Instagram filter or mask a pimple doesn’t make you a worse person.
The secret of beauty lies in balance
Skin Positivity is a wonderful movement, aimed at promoting the acceptance of oneself and of all the particularities of one’s skin … but only if you wish. Do not forget, in fact, that the the secret to feeling good in your skin is balance, both in the care, and in the desire to show yourself for who you are. Even on days when you want to get rid of every tiny imperfection. That’s why you can support Skin Positivity without necessarily putting acne and large pores in the foreground if you don’t want to. The new frontier of this skincare movement, in fact, is achieve complete neutrality, overcoming the aesthetic aspect of the skin and considering only its health. Forgetting the judgments, towards others, but also about yourself.