Rosa Doherty

Cover-up classes at college? Spot the problem

Immanuel College is giving pupils lessons in make-up. Rosa Doherty thinks it's a bad idea

July 03, 2018 09:43

Having acne as a teenager was one of the most traumatic parts of growing up.

I can still remember the social anxiety I felt about the spots that gathered on my forehead and my chin, I remember the hours spent getting ready for school, trying to cover them with makeup.

So I get it. I understand why Immanuel College decided to run make up lessons for pupils after one 15-year-old revealed that she was suffering anxiety over her a skin.

And in their defence the lessons will include lifestyle advice such as drinking more water, getting plenty of sleep and making sure your diet is healthy.

But as someone who has been through it, I’m not sure it makes sense. First of all, any attempt to conceal the fact you have bad skin, if it is that bad, is utterly pointless.

It didn’t help me, it made it worse and it highlighted my insecurity to my peers. By teaching young people with problem skin how to cover it up you reinforce the idea they are unsightly.

Actually what we need to be telling them is that they are not. Being a teenager with bad skin is unfair, yes, it sucks, it really does, but it is so unbelievably normal.

I remember how alone it made me feel, but not because I was the only one with spots, but because of the way people respond to it. 

A day didn’t go by without a stranger offering me advice on what I should be doing to fix my skin. Looking back, I’m amazed by the amount of adults who commented uninvited.

They knew nothing of how my spots ached and how impossible it was not to pick them. All they cared about was advising me to make it look better.

I can’t help but think the school would do better to spend its time promoting a culture of reality, kindness and acceptance. Looking perfect is impossible and you can be happy just the way you are.

July 03, 2018 09:43

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