Real Life Stories of Learning to Embrace Skinversity

We get it. Embracing your Skinversity in a world where everything appears picture-perfect on social media isn’t always an easy feat. Feeling like you’re alone in your struggle to accept your “skinperfections” can be isolating without a doubt. 

The beautiful thing about embracing your Skinversity is realizing you’re certainly not alone. Chances are there are a million and one other people out there in the world getting frustrated at that same stress zit that appeared on their chin overnight because they too are burning the midnight oil hustling to get a promotion at work.

The same moms you see at the grocery store that look like they “have it all together,” are trying just as hard as you to accept their new battle scars that came from the beautiful experience of bringing new life into the world. Your coworker sitting beside you that appears to have glass-smooth skin and a flawless complexion, spent just as much time as you did this morning applying her concealer to hide the same dark spots you have that you’re constantly trying to hide from the world.

There’s power in numbers and having a community that can lift each other up, radiate kindness, and embrace each other as their truest selves – freckles, zits, wrinkles, dark spots, stretch marks, and everything in between included, is everything.

We reached out to 16 admirable women from our Beekman 1802 community from all walks of life with a wide variety of real skinperfections to hear how they’ve learned to see past what the beauty industry is calling out as their flaws, and how they’ve instead learned to face the world with no filter and #EmbraceSkinversity.  

Feeling inspired? Share your own photo, video or story on Instagram of how you #EmbraceSkinversity by tagging @beekman1802 + #EmbraceSkinversity and join the movement on calling a timeout on skin-shaming.

Andrea Thomas, Body-Positivity Advocate & Model: @androcks 

”It was a journey to learn to love my appearance and to view it as beautifully unique. Having vitiligo comes with its own challenges that can affect a person's well-being both physically and mentally. It can change your appearance sometimes as quickly as from one month to the next. Learning to give up control and to focus on what I can control has helped me place less significance on perfection. I put more emphasis on doing what I can to look and feel good about myself and lately it has little to do with makeup and clothing to hide my skin. I love how soft my skin is and how smooth it feels after I wash my face or exfoliate my body.

If I am doing what I can most of the time, there is no reason to stress about a little hormonal breakout or a new vitiligo spot because change is temporary. When you love yourself, you learn to live with what others view as problem skin. People spend a lot of money to stand out in a crowd — to appear different and unique. I don't have to do much to stand out and I have learned to find my own power that way. I have always felt that being kind and having a friendly personality will make people reconsider how they treat someone with a physical feature that is stigmatized.

Embracing Skinversity means I no longer subscribe to the belief that there is a type of skin that has more value over my own. Embracing Skinversity means that we are diminishing stigmas and opening up the conversation to more people about their beautiful faces. ”

Lynzy Coughlin, Emergency Medicine PA-C: @lynzyandco 

“I was always a bit insecure about my fair skin, wishing I was more "olive" and sporting a tan year-round. As I grow older I have learned to love the fair, peach undertones to my skin and embrace it. I think it's important as women (especially women with daughters) to talk about the beauty that is Skinversity and how different and unique we all are!”

Miranda Schroeder, Digital Marketing Consultant : @thoughtfullythrifted  

”The first step in ditching perfection is acknowledging that it doesn't exist! My skin and I have never been friends. But now that I'm in my late 20s, I'm recognizing that in order to like my skin, I have to take good care of it. I'm embracing that it's not perfect and finding ways to love it, blemishes and all.”

Laura Leigh Elliot, Owner/Editor of Louella Reese, LLC: @louellareese 

”For me, this is something that has come over time, not all at once. Perfection is always something I strived for, however, I now find joy and happiness in the little things that make me different. I have learned these set me apart and reflect a part of who I am! My biggest concern, my freckles and a little mole on my face that's a little larger than I would have liked it to be. These reflect my youthfulness and a playful side of me. Now I love them and love a bare face to show them off! ”

Tiffany Austine, Lifestyle Blogger: @arrowsandawe  

”There is no such thing as perfection. Confidence, daily self-care and loving yourself are key. Plus, I like to think my freckles make me unique!”

Nazira Sacasa, Body Acceptance Advocate: @nazirasacasa  

”My mom has always encouraged me and since I was very young she’s instilled in me that beauty comes from within. Whenever I feel the pressure of perfection, I also come back to this. Even though it’s hard at times to not listen to the outside noise telling us we should be perfect, I am always trying to embrace the skin I have and accept all the aspects that make me unique like my rosacea and freckles. 

Another thing that has also really helped me ditch perfection is curating my social media feeds. I think it's super important to follow diverse people with diverse body types and skin types. It’s so important to be exposed to images of people that look like us and look different from us. It’s so easy to get stuck looking at photos of people who represent the beauty ideal which can lead to a lack of confidence, but the more we can broaden the types of people we see, the more confident we can feel about our own skin."

Joy Green, Founder of Joyfully Green: @joyfullygreen  

”Growing up, as one of the only Asian girls in school, I always knew my coloring and complexion was different than my peers. Before I knew it, I was googling things like “How to cover dark spots”, “The best way to remove under-eye circles”, when in reality, it’s just a part of having more melanin in my skin. When I saw other women role models, especially my mom, embrace their skin and the story it tells, I became inspired to do the same for my daughter. One day, my 4-year old tells me, “Mom, why are you wearing makeup? I like it better with no makeup.” It finally hit me. Why is it that our kids can embrace every part of us, and we struggle with it? It takes a long time for us to un-learn what society taught us.

We are all different. We all have our unique skin. We age just like every other living being on this planet. I decided to finally embrace my Skinversity for myself, so my daughter doesn’t have the same battles. What does that mean? It means taking care of my skin and focusing on how it feels vs things I cannot change. It means more barefaced days. It means wearing a smile and be proud of what my mama gave me."

Olivia Pateas, Content Creator:  @oliviapateas  

”I #EmbraceSkinversity by loving my appearance more and more without hiding my skin. Using clean skincare has given me the confidence to love the skin I wear underneath my makeup and has taught me to feel beautiful without feeling the need to hide it.”

Hannah Neese, Body Positive Content Creator: @hannah_neese

”In a world striving for perfection, we miss so much. There is only so much our mind has the capacity to focus on. When our days are spent stressing about our imperfections, we miss the world around us. By seeking out brands that include diverse women, following more diverse skin types and textures on social media, and learning how to truly take care of MY skin, I have learned to embrace my skin. Through this, I have learned to see the beauty in multiple skin types, something we don’t often get to see in the media.”

Ashly Rodriguez, Content Creator:  @actually_ashly

”I'm still learning each and every day.  I've seen my skin go through a little bit of everything and have seen how I would let it affect me in other ways other than when I would look in the mirror. I was spending so much time complaining and comparing my skin and I didn't want to let that control my life anymore. I'm so much more than that! I think its time for people to ditch perfection and get comfortable with the Skinversity all around us!”

Lauren Beeston, Content Creator: @lobeeston

“I’ve learned that the things that I used to want to change about myself, like my freckles, are actually what makes me unique and that makes me feel beautiful. After having my baby girl Ozzy I feel like I gained more confidence because I always want to be that example to her that I embrace and love the things about myself that make me, me. And I hope I can help her always feel that way about herself.”

Rohini Manickam, Content Creator: @rohinimm

"The media defined concept of perfection isn't exactly attainable — textures, spots, and any blemishes are all photoshopped and look completely unnatural. Understanding that makes us realize that we all are already perfect when we're 100% natural and our differences make us beautiful and unique! These days, I love rocking a make-up free look with a focus on improving my skincare regime and eating healthy!"

Rahel Brhane, Content Creator: @rahelbrhane_

"Everything in life starts from within. If you tell yourself you HAVE to look a certain way in order to be accepted by society, you will always chase an ideal that is almost impossible to become. Once I have realized that the only person I want to make happy and proud is myself, I started to ditch the social standards of “perfection”. PSA: There is no perfect skin!! We are all perfect in our very own and unique ways. 

My imperfections make me who I am and that is all that matters to me. I mean think about it: Your skin is your skin and will be part of your life for the rest of your life, so might as well start loving it now than later!"

Sara Toufali, Content Creator: @saratoufali

"I can be a bit of a perfectionist myself, so I like to think that my skin is perfectly imperfect! I know that actual “perfection” doesn’t exist when it comes to skin, and I wouldn’t want it to, anyway. The little lines around my eyes and mouth show that I love to smile and laugh, any of my birthmarks just add to my uniqueness. My dark spots and scars are proof of all the things I’ve overcome - my skin tells my story, and I’m proud of it!"

Jane Ko, Austin Food Blogger: @atasteofkoko

"Honestly, it's been through my readers! The few times I've jumped on Instagram stories without any makeup on and people send me DMs telling me how great my skin looks and how beautiful I look without make on has encouraged me to do more makeup-less days!"