These Up-Close Photos Of Acne Help Normalize It And Expand Our Narrow Definition Of Beauty

“I took barely any pictures of myself because I hated the way my skin looked.”

Over the years, the body positivity movement has inspired people of all shapes and sizes to embrace themselves no matter what the scale says or how their clothes fit. But we can't forget that body positivity includes beauty positivity, too — particularly in regards to acne and skin "imperfections." 

One photographer, Peter DeVito, is making a powerful statement with an up close and personal photo series.

A post shared by PJ DeVito (@peterdevito) on

While social media is typically reserved for the most perfect, edited, filtered versions of ourselves, DeVito is proudly showing off his acne. The photographer, who is a college student at The Fashion Institute of Technology, is making quite the buzz with his self portraits displaying his acne decorated with empowering messages like  "retouch" and "acne is normal."

"When I go on Instagram, all I see are posts about body positivity and self-acceptance," DeVito told A Plus. "More and more people are learning to appreciate their bodies for what they are and it is extremely inspiring. Seeing these types of posts made me want to create something that would help people with acne also feel good about themselves."

A post shared by PJ DeVito (@peterdevito) on

"In 2017, I took barely any pictures of myself because I hated the way my skin looked," DeVito wrote in an Instagram post of his acne self-portraits. "In 2018, I'm going to take as many as possible …" 

In no time, the post went viral, garnering thousands of likes and comments and capturing the attention of celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, who praised DeVito's work in a post saying, "It's so wrong that if I had taken that picture of myself, then I wouldn't have posted it." 

A post shared by PJ DeVito (@peterdevito) on

"I love this so much because I have always been so self-conscious because of my acne," commented an Instagram user on the series.

"This is so inspiring thank you," said another.

"The fact that you presented boys, makes [it] even more amazing. Since most people don't recognize how this also affects them. I'm so glad to see art like this on social media, and specially being acknowledged the way your work is 💕 keep it up," said another. 

DeVito has included other faces in the series, proving how common acne and facial blemishes actually are. When asked what he thinks about the inclusion of beauty positivity within the body positivity movement, DeVito said, "I think it's amazing.  It's way overdue."

DeVito joins the list of other creatives who've used their platform to break beauty standards. Last month, photographer Hailey Wait went viral after she tweeted a selfie revealing her acne with the caption, "Reminder that acne doesn't make you ugly." 

With more and more people becoming comfortable in their own skin — not to mention more brands also taking notice — we are able to expand our otherwise narrow definition of beauty.  

"I think that a lot of people can relate to the message," DeVito told A Plus. "It obviously resonates with people who have acne, but other people can also relate because the images are not only about having acne. The pictures are about how not everyone can fit what society 'deems' as perfect and that is completely OK. They show that were human."

You can check out more of DeVito's work on his Instagram, where he also uses his style of up-close inscribed portraits to make statements on other social issues such as the Times Up movement, the #FreeTheNipple movement, and issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and more. 

(H/T: Yahoo Life)

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