Think of your biggest insecurity. Now imagine revealing that insecurity to millions of people on the Internet. Sound like fun? We didn’t think so either.
But that’s exactly what 19-year-old model Cassandra Bankson did when she posted a video of herself on YouTube with completely bare skin to show others her severe acne. Bankson then demonstrated how she uses make up to cover up her biggest insecurity: her make-up free skin.
Bankson has become an artist of her daily make up routine, using a combination of foundation, primers and concealers to transforms her red, spotted skin into a porcelain masterpiece. The before and after pictures are incredible, and her confidence with make up on is drastically improved to help her better interact with people and perform well in her career as a model.
In an interview with The Today Show, Bankson admitted that posting the video was one of the hardest things she’d ever done, as her acne had became a source of great embarrassment after years of torment from her peers growing up. She even switched high schools and graduated two years early to escape the harassment, and says she was in complete social isolation at that time.
“I was my worst critic, but having that feedback from other peers and people at my school was kind of self traumatizing,” said Bankson. “Make up is what helped me break out of that shell for a period.”
It wasn’t until she received some encouragement from her boyfriend who told her revealing her bare skin and sharing her make up tutorial was her duty. “I’ve always wanted to help people,” said Bankson, ‘and this was my way of doing it.’
Although the experience was incredibly emotional and traumatizing for her, just when she was expecting the worst she received much encouragement from viewers, and the video has already received more than 6 million views. The teen model says she is overwhelmed and incredibly thankful that she went through with the process.
We agree with Bankson that women find confidence in their beauty, and that education is the foundation for understanding our skin. But more importantly, that beauty is more than skin deep; it’s about finding confidence in who we are as individuals, with or without foundation on.
While make up can a powerful tool in making women feel beautiful, there are also measures we can take to improve their skin, starting with a healthy diet.
DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, says that when it comes to healthy skin, there’s no substitute for a balanced diet and plenty of fluids, especially water.
“Skin integrity depends on many different nutrients, but the most prominent are vitamins A and beta-carotene, C, E, B6, folic acid, the minerals selenium and zinc, and essential fatty acids,” says Hartley. “Many of these nutrients have antioxidant activity that counters the oxidizing process that damages all cells throughout the body, including the skin. And some of those nutrients, notably zinc, vitamin C and essential fatty acids, are part of the cells that actually constitute our skin.”
Mary says some of the foods we can eat to reap the benefits of these vitamins and minerals include fish, nuts and seeds, whole grains, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwifruit, and many other fruits and vegetables. And according to studies, some of the foods that can have the opposite effect on our skin include refined carbohydrates and high glycemic index foods, such as candy and other sugary items.
Concerning how our diet affects our skin, Mary says there’s a direct connection. “The nutrients in our diet directly affect our skin. The human skin is the largest organ of the body and skin cells are in a constant state of generation and destruction. Young skin regenerates its entire surface area every two to three weeks.”
Our body is a powerful thing, capable of healing and renewing itself, which is why we should focus on taking care of our skin from the inside out. And whether or not we rely on make up to feel confident, it’s also important to remember that beauty should never be just skin deep.
April 19th, 2012