Skin is texture, and pores, and lines, literally. It is meant to stretch, contract, and wrinkle. Our skin serves as a reminder of our body’s internal health—a canary in the coal mine. When you slow down to really pay attention, your skin might tell you that you’re not drinking enough water. Or that you’re staying up too late. Or that the foods you’re eating aren’t as healthy as they could be.
Our skin is meant to tell a story. Yet, with the overwhelming amount of photo editing and filters we’re exposed to daily, whether it be in magazines, on social media, or in major ad campaigns, we’ve become comfortable feeling shameful about our skin in its most natural, most beautiful state.
And while our society has come a long way in regards to body acceptance, we still have a ways to go. According to an annual survey by Girlguide, the UK's largest girl-only youth organization, 34% of 11 to 21-year-olds said they would not share a photo of themselves online without using filters or apps to enhance the photo first. While these statistics are harrowing, it isn’t too late for our collective society to regroup, reroute, and reimagine what we want for ourselves and our children.
#FilterDrop began in the UK with 29-year-old influencer Sasha Pallari, a makeup artist and curve model fed up with the seemingly endless scroll of filtered makeup and skincare campaigns, all of which blurred, buffed, and glossed skin to unrealistic standards. Sasha even noticed that her own followers would disengage with her social media content if she posted a photo while she was experiencing breakouts or blemishes—something that happens to all of us, yet is still completely taboo to share on the internet.
Sasha’s first #FilterDrop post showcased her in typical selfie mode, complete with cloud-like, buffed skin. Then, the video continues without the filter and reveals her real skin...with bumps, pores, breakouts, and shine. The caption that accompanies the video goes on to expose the makeup and skincare brands who pay influencers and celebrities to promote their products with the help of skin and face-altering filters. After this post, hordes of women and men followed suit, removing their filters and sharing their stories about self-love and self-loathing.
What came next? The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority took notice and ruled that filters could not be used in beauty ads if they exaggerated the effect of the products. Any UK companies caught breaking these rules would have their photos removed and would be banned from Instagram. Regulation has been a long time coming for our ever-changing social landscape.
With mental health at the forefront of many of our conversations these days, we might not be too far from a mandate that rules that social media users would have to disclose if their photos had been digitally altered—a rule that has recently been implemented for product placements, ads, and sponsorships on social media.
The Valentia Pledge
At Valentia, we pledge to never alter the appearance of skin on models or influencers that partner with our brand. That means photos on our website, ads, and social media will reflect the true look of skin...texture, blemishes, and all.
We value the health of you and your skin above everything. We understand that breakouts and blemishes happen. We know there are no magic products that will “erase wrinkles” or “lift skin” or “cure breakouts,” so we won’t claim they do. Beauty is about wellness, mental health included. Beauty is deeper than skin. So, will you #FilterDrop?