The #ToBeHuman campaign is JUNOCO‘s latest effort in the fight to challenge the status quo in skincare and showcase the full spectrum of beauty.
For as long as I can remember, I have flipped through magazines and seen beauty commercials telling me to “love the skin you’re in.” Seeing all the beautiful faces and flawless skin was aspirational, but somewhere along the way, I became acutely aware that the ads were absent a certain level of sincerity.
What they said: Embrace your beauty!
What I saw: Embrace your beauty…if you are fair-skinned with straight hair and “acceptable” features.
They said: Love yourself!
I heard: Love yourself…after you lose 30 pounds.
The Myth: Love the skin you’re in!
The Message: Love the skin you’re in…when it’s clean, clear, and under control, flanked by a visibly invisible layer of foundation.
Where the messages of these campaigns were concerned, the audio did not quite match the video. Fast-forward to today, this kind of condition-based self-acceptance is still pervasive. In fact, the notion that perfection is paramount is so deeply ingrained in our society that it affects how we influence each other. Social media allows us to only present our most perfectly curated selves to the world. In turn, peer-to-peer comparison becomes the thief of our joy and self-image. Somewhere along the way, we became so obsessed with filtered flawlessness that we missed the beauty of simply being human.
JUNOCO Launches #ToBeHuman Skin Positivity Campaign
The beauty industry has made strides in diversity and inclusion efforts. Campaigns like Aerie’s “AerieReal” and Bio-Oil’s “LoveYourMarks” have tapped into the conversation around body positivity. Most recently, purpose-driven sustainable skincare company JUNOCO has taken this charge to the next level with the #ToBeHuman campaign, highlighting skin positivity.
Skin positivity is a move away from the negativity associated with skin conditions like acne, scarring, and texture (which are totally normal, by the way) and a push toward self-love and appreciation for real skin. JUNOCO’s innovative campaign challenges distorted notions of beauty by showcasing it as it exists in our communities – real, raw, and relatable.
#ToBeHuman Skin Positivity Campaign Launches in San Francisco
JUNOCO first tackled inclusivity in imagery with an unconventional photo shoot. The company purposely chose not to use professional models, instead seeking out a diverse cast of people you might see walking down a street near you. The beauty of these models was also left untampered by stylists, professional lighting, or photo editing.
Greater than loving one’s skin on camera is treating it well behind the scenes. JUNOCO also asked the models for the #ToBeHuman photo shoot to use their 10-ingredient cleansing balm, Clean 10, and their upcycled clarifying powder, the Clarifying Cleansing Powder, for one month prior to the shoot and the day of. (By the way, these products are two of the kindest favors you can do for your skin. Check out my real deal review here.)
What Does It Mean #ToBeHuman?
JUNOCO went a step further, launching the campaign with a street takeover in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley. Street posters featuring real people with real unedited skin were displayed, celebrating a glowing spectrum of skin tones, textures, features, and walks of life.
JUNOCO asked the 300+ attendees of the #ToBeHuman event, “What’s one of your insecurities that you’re most proud of?” The team challenged the narrative that perfect is paramount, and the responses were refreshing. In pondering this question for myself, I had to get in touch with some of the beauty standards and messaging I’ve had to overcome.
I have had a variety of insecurities come and go over the years, and some I still struggle with (like my height). One insecurity that has turned into a source of pride for me is my hair. I saw my natural hair for the first time in my recollection when I was 23 years old. As a Black girl with type 4 hair, I was subject to some level of insecurity about my hair texture. Negative reactions from family, friends, and strangers alike made me a bit unsettled about this major transformation.
Just as colorism is interwoven into the conversation about skin positivity, pervasive texturism is an issue that impacts the imagery and negative preconceptions to which we are exposed. It took time to grow confident in how my hair grew out of my head amidst the voices telling me it was unacceptable, but persisting built my pride. I now join others in using that confidence to uplift others, one coil at a time. The world is ready for a new standard of beauty that reflects the uniqueness of humanity and so am I.
Creating A More Skin Positive World
Creating a more skin-positive world isn’t just for brands to do. We – yes, you and me – have a great hand in moving the needle. Here’s what we can do to be more human and help others to be, too.
- Focus on the health of your skin, not just the appearance. Acne, scars, birthmarks, and melanin are indeed normal – that’s why we see them EVERYWHERE in the world! A particular skin look may not be an attainable goal, but your best skin, whatever that may be, certainly is. Love what you have and be kind to yourself.
- Support brands, like JUNOCO, that promote realistic standards of beauty. A lot of us are insecure about how our skin looks, and the imagery we are exposed to does not help. Some companies show us what they think we want, perfect skin, in order to get us to buy products we think will give us that result. What we don’t see enough of is healthy skin that has been “lived in.” Underneath the photoshop and filters is a real person whose skin has texture and spots. Or people that are visibly aging! Here at Mack the Maverick, I choose never to filter or edit images or videos featuring beauty products. I also will not showcase skincare products while wearing makeup. You come here for honest reviews and honest results, and I believe in giving them to you.
- Don’t be afraid to show the authentic YOU. We normalize beauty acceptance by accepting ourselves. Uniqueness is normal. Imperfect and beautiful can and do exist in the same space. Maybe it starts with a private affirmation about that one feature that makes you insecure. Or, perhaps you decide to drop the IG filter that airbrushes you to gallery status. Your self-celebration can inspire others to do the same.
Whatever you decide, understand that you can be a positive influence just by being you – being human.