Sometimes bad skin happens to good people. In fact, sometimes bad skin happens to all people. Which is why it’s so disappointing to see close cropped photos of celebrities’ faces, created for the sole purpose of scrutinising their complexion imperfections.
That’s what happened to Delta Goodrem on the ARIAs red carpet last night. Flash bulbs went off, ultra, ultra high definition cameras zoomed right in and just a few hours later, the tabloids were attacking her “caked on makeup” and “stressed out skin”.
The same thing happened to Solange on her wedding day. She danced her heart out, got a bit hot and broke out in hives. And that's just fine. But of course, pap shots leaked, accompanied by gleeful headlines like "BREAKING OUT!"
Having something go wrong with your skin is stressful and it's hard to hide. It has a significant impact on your emotional state. A study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that young people who suffered from acne had "significantly more depressive symptoms, lower self-attitude, more feelings of uselessness, fewer feelings of pride, lower self-worth, and lower body satisfaction than those without acne."
What's more, acne will affect around 85% of young people at some stage. We're biologically programmed to be creeped out by bad skin, because it could be the sign of an infectious disease. But we're also socially aware enough to know that a few pimples are neither life threatening nor contagious.
It's up to us to acknowledge why we might have an 'instant recoil' trigger when it comes to acne - and then disarm it. That's why it's so awesome to see people like Lorde and Tavi Gevinson proudly flaunting their breakouts.
And that's also why it's so shitty to see Delta and Solange being attacked for something they can't help. Sometimes, when tabloids write about a star's skin, it's like their pimples are somehow indicative of a moral failing. Like there's some sort of deeper story there. Delta doesn't just have spots, she has "stressed out skin".
While factors like stress and poor diet can show up on your face, they're not the only reason why people break out. And having a breakout certainly isn't a tell tale sign that your life is falling apart. All it tells is that you're a human, with hormones, like any other human.
Yes, it's nice to have great skin. But when you're skin isn't great, having a million people point that fact out does nothing for no one.
So next time a star is on the red carpet, feel free to go the dress. Say what you like about the eyeliner.
But leave the skin alone. After all, you've got no idea when your next breakout might be.