In an inspiring short film, beauty vlogger and former model Em Ford bares her face to expose her severe acne—and makes a powerful point about society’s impossible standards of perfection.
On her YouTube channel “My Pale Skin,” Ford posts make-up tutorials, including many that demonstrate how to cover up blemishes. But three months ago, she began sharing selfies on social media that showed her fresh face, free of products, and collected more than 100,000 comments in three months.
Ford’s now viral video begins with her facing the camera as some of those comments appear on screen: “I can’t even look at her,” “WTF is wrong with her face?” and “You look disgusting.”
Then she begins to apply make-up, and the feedback changes tune:
“You look beautiful.” “That lipstick is amazing on you.” But the comments quickly turn ugly again, as tears roll down Ford’s face: “This is false advertising.” “Respect yourself damn slut.”
In the end, Ford wipes her face clean as the words of others who suffer from acne or insecurity flash around her:
“Why is this happening to me?”
“I get bullied because of my skin.”
“I’m finally accepting myself.”
We are left with an empowering message from Ford: “You are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Not even yourself.”
The reaction Ford has gotten this time has fortunately been overwhelmingly positive: The video has more than 6.8 million views (and counting) since last Wednesday, and a crucial conversation about true beauty has begun. Follow along with the hashtag #YouLookDisgusting on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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