In case you hadn’t guessed, we love Instagram. It’s given women everywhere a platform to publish their own content and make their voices heard far and wide. Thanks to social media, finding your tribe and sharing support and inspiration with other women has never been easier.
One woman using social media to empower others is Em Ford. Better known as @mypaleskinblog, Em’s authentic and honest approach to skin positivity has earned her almost a million followers, who love her message of radical self love as much as we do. Frequently sharing photos of her acne scars without makeup, Em is encouraging women everywhere to stop being ashamed of their acne and start loving every inch of the skin they’re in.
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No stranger to cyber bullies, three years ago, Em hit back at the trolls with a YouTube video titled ‘You Look Disgusting’ where she tackled the thousands of cruel comments left on her Instagram photos. This week, Em found herself feeling the chill of more internet shade but this time from a very unexpected source, beauty powerhouse, Huda Kattan.
The drama began when a makeup-free photo of Em’s acne scars appeared on Huda Beauty’s Facebook page to promote an article about acne scars. Unfortunately, the post wasn’t celebrating Em’s empowering stance on skin positivity; instead Kattan had captioned the image with the problematic title “The only thing worse than a breakout is the little scars they leave behind.”
Implying that acne scars are shameful, this title went against the grain of Em’s skin positivity image, and Em was quick to spot this unexpected use of her image. Speaking directly to Huda Kattan, founder of her eponymous beauty brand, Em reacted to the use of her photo in her Instagram Stories.
My Pale Skin’s Em Ford on how her viral acne video gave her the confidence she’d been searching for her whole life
“Dear @HudaBeauty, I wanted to say thank you for using my #skinpositivity images to tell the world that my face full of scars is worse than active breakouts,” she wrote. “And for reinforcing that narrative that anything less than ‘flawless’ is something we should feel ashamed of, or want to fix and ‘get rid of.’ “
“Do you want to be part of the problem? Or part of the solution?”, Em concluded.
The post then immediately disappeared from Huda Beauty’s page before Huda Kattan herself also took to Instagram Stories to apologise directly to the YouTube star. Huda also contacted Em directly over email to apologise. While Em didn’t share Huda’s message, she shared her reply with her followers via her Instagram Stories.
“We’re cool. I don’t hold any grudges, ill thoughts or hate towards you,” she wrote. “When women empower other women, amazing things can happen. So my next question is: How can I help you to empower others.”
Women are defiantly displaying their acne in this kickass #freethepimple social media campaign
In a world where women are so often pitted against each other, it’s refreshing to see a negative encounter transformed into a positive place of growth, education and transformation. While their relationship may have started on an unpleasant note, we hope that this positive outcome sees a friendship blossom between these two beauty industry powerhouses. Who knows, maybe there’ll even be a collaboration on the cards …