Feature Image: Jessica Ramirez
Acne effects roughly 80% of people between the ages of eleven and thirty years old, yet, rarely anyone is talking about it openly. Jessica Ramirez bravely set up the Instagram account AccutaneBeauty to show an honest portrayal of her journey with acne. From smiling in makeup-less images to sharing confident reminders of what beauty really means, Ramirez is carving out an uplifting space of acceptance online. We sat down with Ramirez to hear all about her motives behind her storytelling, tips on dealing with acne and her perception of beauty.
Hi Jessica! Before we get chatting about your incredible presence online of sharing your acne journey, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 24 years old, I’m a Mexican American, I live in the state of Idaho. I’ve been happily married for 4 years and I’m a manager at a Deli! I love makeup, food, roller coasters,haunted houses, laughing, making people smile and I like to think I’m pretty funny 🙂
If you could explain to someone who has never experienced having acne themselves what it feels like to have it, what would you say?
First of all, I would ask them if they are human (hahah) as most people get acne at least once in there life time – I mean it doesn’t have to be severe or anything like that but I believe you will get a pimple or two in some point in your life! So I believe there is no such thing as someone never having acne.
If for some odd reason there is someone out there that has never ever had acne, I will tell them that having acne is pretty hard. As a girl it’s hard for me to leave my house without makeup. I occasionally leave my house without a covered face, and, let me tell you, people look at me differently and treat me differently. So, if you’d never had acne, your pretty freaking lucky.
‘I occasionally leave my house without a covered face, and, let me tell you, people look at me differently and treat me differently.’
I know from experience with acne myself that it feels like it defines who you are and can be challenging to see it as separate from yourself; do you have any tips for not letting acne define you?
I think I coped with my acne by just starting to accept it! It was hard, (trust me) especially seeing other people have amazing skin. But, there was just one day I just started to ignore my acne and started looking at my other features I had. Little by little, I just stopped caring about my acne and flipped that negative attitude into a positive.
With any skin issue it can be hard to have the confidence to face everyday situations, what has acne been like for you in this sense? How do you recommend other people overcome the confidence problems that can come with acne?
At first I would just let acne win all the time, it was truly annoying! I would cry all the time, I would stare at my face and hated it everything I would see in the mirror. It was horrible! I became tired of being so sad and feeling bad for myself just because of acne. I just started ignoring it and started being more positive about it. It truly works.
Tell us a bit about your friendly, open and inspiring social media platform, accutanebeauty. Why did you choose this name and what motivated you to share your story?
I chose the name because I’m currently on accutane for my acne and wanted a name that relates to everyone else that is going through this journey, so I came up with accutanebeauty. Every single person is beautiful with or without acne. I created this platform because I wanted to help others that are in the same situation as I am. I want everyone to understand that acne does not define your person! You are a warrior and you can get through whatever your going through. I’m obsessed with how positive everyone is in the community! It’s unbelievable and mind blowing. I’m in love with all my followers and I’m so thankful and grateful for every single one of them.
‘I want everyone to understand that acne does not define your person’
Despite the efforts to dismantle beauty standards, some in society still view acne as something that takes away from a person’s beauty. What would you say to people that are feeling less beautiful than others due to having acne?
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!! YOUR A BADASS!! YOU ARE STRONG and YOU ARE A WARRIOR!!! Think about all the positive things and people you have in you life. Go have fun; go to dinner with friends, go for a run or a walk, call someone you haven’t called in a while. I’m basically saying to get all the negativity out of your head and turn them into a positive. You got this!
Finally, what does beauty mean to you?
BEAUTY is YOU.