It’s 2022 and self-love is not just a catchphrase anymore. It has catapulted into the need of the hour and intent behind every conscious decision that we make. Embracing yourself as you are is something that doesn’t come easy to many people, even today, especially when we live in a world where there is an Instagram and Snapchat filter for every flaw – be it pimples, blemishes and zits on your skin. But do we want to live in a world that finds comfort in absurd filters that propagate the idea of delusory beauty standards?
While a bigger pout and fluttery lashes float in the list of ideal beauty standards (and thereby filters), airbrushed skin tops the list. Why? Primarily to conceal and camouflage all the so-called imperfections – pimples, texture, pores, dark spots, blemishes and give the skin a finish that the society deems ‘perfect’. Be it the next-door aunty who casually recommends anti-pimple DIY tips or the friend who casually passes comments, this negative perception towards pimples has pushed young girls and women into a dungeon of self-doubt. Oftentimes these casual remarks not only affect the way you perceive yourself, but also cast a larger impact on your ideas of beauty – something that we need to normalize. A pimple or a zit cannot have this quantum of power over us that it changes the way we behave, act and feel beautiful. Something our digital cover stars – Prableen Kaur Bhomrah, Tarini Shah, Himadri Patel, Diksha Rawat and Ritvi Shah – have been advocating actively on social media and off of it to normalize pimples and to promote the idea that every skin – with or without pimples, fair or dusky, with moles or scars – is as real as we are and we do not need to cover up or change the way we are to fit into a box that society terms ‘beautiful’. We’ve said enough and so should you, after all #PimpleHiToHai
Meet our digital cover stars – Prableen Kaur Bhomrah, Tarini Shah, Himadri Patel, Diksha Rawat and Ritvi Shah – who spill the beans on why saying #PimpleHiTohHai more often is important.
What inspired you to embrace your pimples on social media?
Prableen Kaur Bhomrah: It was more of a personal experience, where I was going through the lowest point in my life – I had PCOS, a massive pimple breakout. Whatever I would try, nothing would work for me. I was looking for inspiration on social media but couldn’t find any. So, I thought I really needed to commence the pimple positivity movement on social media in India.
Tarini Shah: When growing up in the times of social media where everyone has this flawless skin or is indulging in procedures to achieve that, you end up comparing your normal self to everything you see. Everyone wonders why they don’t have such skin. That’s when you start making all the changes to reach the socially acceptable skin. I didn’t want anyone to take that toxic route, which is why I’m happy to embrace my pimples on social media.
Himadri Patel: Over the years, I’ve built that confidence where I like to embrace my skin the way it is. Despite being a beauty creator, I’ve stopped glamming up and using full-coverage foundations. Hence, I’ve been so comfortable with the way my skin looks.
Diksha Rawat: I don’t conceal my pimples when sharing my content. However, funnily enough, the reason why I got into makeup was to cover up my pimples because I was so conscious about it, and everyone would point it out. As a silly teenager, that made me feel ugly – which makes me very sad now. So now, I accept my skin the way it is. Pimples come and go; if I have one – let it show, it’s not the end of the world. Ultimately, even if one follower thinks that she can pull it off because I can, then my job is done.
Ritvi Shah: I think growing up I used to see makeup as a means to cover my bare skin. That’s what I also learned from my mother, movies, etc. Only very recently, when I started creating content did I develop the confidence and courage to embrace my bare skin. Makeup as a cover-up has been normalized more than bare skin, that’s where we’ve gone wrong. It’s okay to idealize clear skin if you wish to, but not at the cost of someone’s mental health.
Why according to you, is it important to have positive conversations about pimples
PKB: It is so important for us to talk about something that is so normal. And, I wanted to break the stereotype, break the stigma around people having an issue with someone having scars and pimples. I don’t have a problem with filters at all until it leads you to feel bad about your natural skin. This is the reason why I started the #NoFilterWithPKB movement – I wanted people to talk about real skin and feel normal. A recent video that I posted embracing my pimples, texture and pores crossed a million views. That only goes to show that this conversation needs to continue. My goal is to see people with pimples on posters, social media, and television.
TS: Pimples are not a problem to solve, it’s something natural that is bound to happen. And, contrary to what we think and feel, no one really cares about the zit on our faces.
HP: Being comfortable in your skin is important and I’ve arrived at that feeling over time, and it’s wonderful.
DR: I am really glad that these discussions are happening – it’s a cultural movement about acceptance in every form – not just skin, bodies too. I have been through so much and so I want to protect as many people as possible from that trauma because it is unnecessary.
RS: The reality needs to be seen and heard more in the public eye, for it to be normalized. We, as a society, need to put more models and people with pimples on magazine covers, in movies, etc. to normalize real skin. The conversation can start at home too, but it must start somewhere.
Caring for your pimples is an integral part of accepting your skin. So, what’s your skincare routine like?
PKB: My skincare routine starts with a face wash, then a hydrating toner, serum, and moisturizer.
TS: I swear by staying hydrated and following a skincare routine that works for you – doesn’t need to be a 10-step elaborate one. A basic one with effective ingredients works just as well. My mother encourages me to use multani mitti, haldi and dahi and other such homemade packs to care for my skin.
HP: Skincare is everything when it comes to beauty. If your skin is prepped well, your makeup looks good. I have very sensitive skin, for which I like to use a mild cleanser and lots of moisturizer. A good cleanser that doesn’t strip off the natural moisture is very important to care for the skin. And SPF, I mean I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of it.
DR: For my skin, I make sure to wash it religiously. I make sure to use a good cleanser and never skip sunblock.
RS: I don’t do much for my skincare routine. I have tried products here and there, but I advise going to a dermatologist if needed. That’s a stigma as well, that needs to be broken. I use a cleanser and sunscreen in the morning. At night, I double cleanse with micellar water and the same gentle cleanser followed up by a moisturizer.
Being a content creator, you frequently indulge in makeup to give character to your look. How do you then give your skin that much-needed TLC?
PKB: When I am breaking out, I include salicylic acid in my routine. On days when my skin feels dehydrated, I use hyaluronic acid. I treat my skin on the basis of how it’s feeling.
TS: My skin suffered a lot of backlash from the excessive makeup I used initially. I’ve realized my skin isn’t made of cement and that it needs a break; it needs to breathe. It needs time away from all kinds of chemicals. So, a day with no makeup is also something that I’ve done recently – a skin detox. IRL, I avoid makeup as much as I can.
HP: If your skincare game is on point, it will automatically make you feel confident about your skin being bare. On days when I have pimples, I use products to treat the skin, otherwise, I use products that have been working for my skin for years.
DR: The downside of creating so much content and trying so many products is that it may or may not suit me. Even makeup, at times, doesn’t suit me. But I’ve learned and understood better now. In the last two years (okay, I might be exaggerating now) no matter how tired I am or whatever the situation may be, I double cleanse.
RS: As I said, I don’t do much for my skin anyway. So just keep up with the cleanser and SPF.
What’s your mantra that you want every follower of yours to know?
PKB: There’s no way to skip pimples, it’s important to care for it though. Keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Eat well and care for your body, don’t stress – that can cause more trouble.
TS: Don’t let the way your skin is or looks affect you or your confidence adversely. Start telling yourself #PimpleHiTohHai every day and that it doesn’t define you or your life. Don’t stress about the pimple or conceal it, let it heal.
HP: Embrace your skin and use the right products.
DR: Because I’ve been through a phase of self-doubt, I would like to say that don’t let other people’s opinions of you seep into your brain. That doesn’t matter. You are what you make of yourself. If people comment on your physical appearance, or how your skin looks, that tells something about them, not you. You have you at the end of the day and nobody else matters. I wish somebody had told me that when I was young, it would’ve meant the world to me.
RS: We must change the way pimples are perceived. We must not look at pimples with a sense of pity, but simply as something normal. We see someone with pimples and are quick to think that they’re not beautiful. We must normalize pimples in a way that no one ever points it out.
Clean & Clear’s #PimpleHiTohHai campaign is all about putting the stereotypical narrative around ‘perfect skin’ to rest. This obsession with stressing over pimples and imperfections adversely affects teenagers and young adults more than anyone else. The campaign also further underlines that the world around them doesn’t really care about pimples as much as they think they do. We, too, believe that naturally occurring pimples, texture and other so-called imperfections are normal for your skin and shouldn’t come in the way of your self-love and self-acceptance journey, nor should they be given the power to shatter your confidence.. Just like other aspects of life, pimples will come and go. The key is to learn to embrace your skin at all times and not dwell on something as inconsequential as pimples!