'I shared a photo of my unfiltered skin with 70,000 people. I was not expecting the response.'

For a few years now, beauty filters have been easily accessible to everyone. 

From social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to specific photo editing apps, filtering our photos has become the norm. 

I’ve been guilty of it in the past, for sure – I mean, who doesn’t want to look like a better version of themselves with no wrinkles or perceived imperfections? 

About three years ago I stopped using filters as I noticed my photos were not showing the character in my face; I no longer looked like myself and I was not okay with that. 

Watch: What do I put on my skin these days? Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

Recently I've noticed that when people post an unfiltered image of themselves online, they start with an apology for the state of their skin. 

Why? Because it’s showing texture, it’s showing imperfections, and they feel ashamed. How did we get to a point where we are apologising for looking human?

Blame filters, blame social media pressure, blame the amount of time we spent looking at ourselves on Zoom calls during COVID, or blame the Kardashians, but we now have a subset of body dysmorphic disorder called facial dysmorphia.

It's where the individual is focused on their face and can become consumed over its perceived defects. There is no definitive cause for this disorder and while it can happen at any age, it is most likely to occur in adolescence. 


So a few weeks ago, after seeing a woman in her 20s apologise for posting a filter-free selfie and looking for advice, I decided to post a couple of very close-up images of myself in the You Beauty Facebook group to draw attention to my perfectly normal textured skin to try and normalise the feelings around it. 

What I didn’t expect was that it would go viral, and not only be embraced but in fact, celebrated.

The photo I posted. Image: Supplied.

The photos generated a lot of comments, people sharing their own images and a hell of a lot of thank you's. But the fact that textured skin with pores, wrinkles and imperfections results in people saying 'thank you' is surely indicative that things need to change?


It's so concerning that we are at the point where images with pores are seen as not normal. You know what’s not normal? Flawless skin with no visible pores or texture. 

Texture IS normal. We are NOT mannequins; we are NOT photoshopped in real life and we need to stop perpetuating the myth that we should all have perfectly flawless skin as a given. 

Can you tell I am passionate about this? Can you see me standing on my soap box in the centre of the room with my fist raised to the sky?

Now that’s not to say we need to give up everything. I mean I will admit to being vain and I am okay with that. 

I haven’t yet gone down the Botox and filler route but I am not against it – I just know when I start I could easily walk in with my arms stretched wide, yelling "fill me up!" so I'm holding strong for now.

Listen to You Beauty, Mamamia's daily beauty podcast. Post continues after podcast.

I look after my skin and have done religiously since I was in my teens and it has paid off. I know I am lucky to have pretty good skin but it's far from perfect. 

As someone who posts unfiltered makeup looks every day, it would be easy to succumb to filtered tweaks here and there, but I want to create a discussion around normalising "real skin" and promoting "anti-ageism" so I'm conscious not to do and challenge you to do the same. 

Society’s perception of what is normal and what is not will not change unless we choose to embrace it and do something about it.


Now in my role as a beauty writer, I send unfiltered, bare-faced images of myself to the masses on a regular basis, and it's actually made me more comfortable my own skin – imperfections and all. I know it's not perfect but I know how to work with it.

So here I am – both made-up and bare-skinned and I will not apologise for how my skin looks because there is nothing to apologise for.

I am normal, and I am bloody fabulous.

Image: Supplied.

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Featured image: Supplied.

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