The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Face it

Face it

The stigma around acne is harmful to society

I think I will always remember how painful it felt to be told that I could connect the dots on my forehead or that my face looked like pepperoni pizza.

Yes, you can laugh. Looking back years later, I can at least see the creativity and effort put into their remarks, whether they were jokes or not, but it still cuts deep.

Going into high school, I found solace in covering up as much acne as I could with a mask and not even having to show my face for the half of the school week I attended in-person.

However, I shouldn’t have had to feel ashamed for something I couldn’t control. No one should.

The stigma against acne in our society has become detrimental to the mental health of those who have it, and people need to do their part to reverse this ideology.

I tried a few different diets, but none showed any promise. I tried new face cleansers, masks, serums and treatments, but they barely made a dent. I tried getting more sleep, but my pillow couldn’t put a rest to the way I felt inside. I tried taking different acne medications, but by the time I could see the bottom of the bottle, nothing had changed.

“From our language to our behavior, acne shouldn’t be framed as something to hate or something to fix.”

The truth is that it has taken time for it to get better but also for me to not be so bitter about it. It’s taken perspective to have the courage to be this raw.

According to the National Library of Medicine, studies show “high prevalence rates of depression and anxiety among patients with acne, reaching up to >40%.” Similarly, they compiled a systematic review revealing higher levels of the two conditions in patients with acne than those without it.

It is evident that there is an association between mental illness and acne, but it’s not the skin doing the damage. It’s other people.

Though not many people told me directly, acne was something to hang your head down in the halls over. That was the case for me until junior year when I held my head high, now concealing any spots with makeup.

Even though it wasn’t nearly as obvious, I still felt uneasy and insecure about my acne. It seemed like even with its low visibility, its existence was enough to make me feel like something was wrong as I felt people’s stares for too long and heard the way they annoyingly talked about the new pimple they got.

We need to make changes. From our language to our behavior, acne shouldn’t be framed as something to hate or something to fix. Most of the time, it’s a part of a normal bodily process and not much can be done.

And it’s not impossible. Though my skin has gotten better over these four years, my fourteen-year-old self wouldn’t believe my new attitude on acne, and my sixteen-year-old self would be shocked that on some school days, I don’t wear makeup to hide myself.

From a timid freshman behind her mask to a senior who is vocal about her struggle, my face may continue to have blemishes, but I won’t let others blemish my soul.

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About the Contributor
Ayslin Bowman
Ayslin Bowman, Print Managing Editor
I can’t believe I’m writing my third staff bio for The Journal, but at the same time, I can’t believe this is my last! It’s truly been a bittersweet journey on The Journal, but I’m excited to serve as Print Managing Editor for my senior year. And where are my manners? Hello, it’s Ayslin! Besides working on the paper, I am a member of Cardinal Cadre and Riley Dance Marathon, the Vice President of National Honors Society and a part of both the girls volleyball and lacrosse programs here. But outside of school, I love coffee, coffee and did I mention coffee? Well, seriously, I love coffee, music, films, nature, concerts, fashion, baking, photography and the list could go on and on! And I could never forget about my friends, family and my sweet cat. I love all of them so much! I hope all you readers will grow to enjoy The Journal as much as I do over the course of these next six issues (though I’m not sure that’s possible), and I cannot wait for this year! Being an editor last year was such an amazing experience, and I plan on keeping The Journal as one. But anyways, let’s slay this year!

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