Twitter users have sparked a conversation around the double standards Gen Z TikTokers are experiencing when it comes to their acne.
“Do you see the difference?” @honkasino asked. “Are you f****** kidding me?”
In one set of screenshots, a male TikToker posed in front of his camera with the caption: “What’s the first thing you notice about me?”
Many comments were along the lines of: “Anyone else think acne is hot?” or “Literally acne is hot, I don’t care what anyone says.”
In the second set of photos, @honkasino showed a female TikToker who filmed herself in the mirror with no caption whatsoever. For her, a sample of comments included: “Someone said ‘cheese pizza'” and “Is it that hard to use Neutrogena acne cream or at least wash your face every morning?”
In another tweet, @honkasino wrote that the intention of their comparison was exclusively to comment on the discrepancies between the videos’ comments — not on the TikTokers themselves.
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and affects 90 percent of all people at some point in their life. On TikTok, videos featuring the #acne hashtag have racked up 8.8 billion views. Many of those posts feature comments like “cheese pizza,” or comments equating acne with not being clean.
Those comments, studies show, can be detrimental to a person’s self-esteem.
“On top of discomfort due to the clinical symptoms of acne, patients may experience other negative impacts,” a 2020 study in Scientific Reports wrote. “Acne has been found to adversely affect the social life, self-esteem and body image of individuals and is often co-morbid with psychological disorders including depression and anxiety.”
Adolescent self-esteem has been wavering for years, particularly among girls. A 2001 study found that boys ages 13 to 18 ranked higher in several self-esteem-related categories than their female classmates — including when it came to how attractive they found themselves.
“This one makes me so mad,” one Twitter user commented on @honkasino’s post. “Who’s gonna tell them that it’s not that easy or simple, acne is a very complicated thing and it doesn’t go away that quickly or easily.”
“My acne is hormonal, as is a lot of people’s,” another wrote. “This means it can’t be fixed by washing your face/ buying products — even though I KNOW this, I still spend a fortune trying to get rid [of it] and it’s because of posts like this!”
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