In the ever growing world of social media influencers, one thing has become crystal clear; fake fades. Whether it be fake followers, photoshopped bodies, biased reviews or money grabbers, we are slowly but surely having a social media clear out. As consumers, followers and Insta addicts, we crave one thing. Authenticity. We want to be able to relate to influencers and trust their genuine experience of a product. The days of ‘celebs’ posting a staged picture with a lollipop that supposedly makes you lose weight, are far behind us. Hallelujah. The craving we now have for authenticity has paved a way for a new wave of influencers, and we are so here for it.
It doesn’t get more authentic than acne survivor and esthetician, Joanna Kenny (@beautifulbybreakfast). Joanna’s 40,000 Instagram followers are proof that we want content we can relate to and learn from. Posting raw, unfiltered and unedited pictures and stories daily, @beautifulbybreakfast is an inclusive and inviting page that follows Joanna’s skin journey, but also her journey of self love.
Joanna confesses; “I hated myself and it was exhausting.” Prior to making her Instagram page, the 31 year old was struggling with her mental health and was desperate to ‘fix’ her skin. After living with her acne for 13 years, she explained it was only after she moved away from doing skincare out of hate and desperation, that she made a lasting and powerful change. Loving herself, in spite of her acne. The heroic decision to create a safe and honest space for users to get a slice of unfiltered reality, came from the hope to inspire others struggling with similar issues.
Authentic and raw accounts like @beautifulbybreakfast, are growing more popular by the day. The beauty industry and their portrayal of ‘normal skin’ isn’t fooling anyone anymore. Joanna agrees that society’s current beauty standards are unrealistic. “We are told from a young age what is beautiful and what is ugly”. Although the media is largely to blame for this, Joanna shares that some brands are trying to support the skin positivity movement on social media. It’s the lack of inclusivity through things like ads, that leave us searching for a fix of normality. We want to see moles, pigmentations and texture, not smoothed out, over edited and unachievable skin. Impressionable people are being brainwashed by these big brands into thinking their natural skin should be looking airbrushed and flawless 24/7.
Joanna feels passionately about breaking society’s beauty standards and strives to help vulnerable people feel normal and less alone. “Beauty is entirely subjective so there shouldn’t be a strict definition of what being beautiful is.” As I’m sure her followers will agree, it’s beyond refreshing to see an influencer you can actually relate to, not only that but the honesty is almost addicting. “Authenticity sells right now”, and brands are slowly starting to realise this. They are working alongside Joanna as she trials and reviews different skincare products. The Instagram page @beautifulbybreakfast is a place of acceptance, understanding and inspiration. Joanna has formed an amazing relationship with her followers and has built a level of trust between them.
A golden rule that Joanna lives by is; “unfollow anything that doesn’t make you feel thankful, inspired, happy or connected.” This is something we should all remember next time we’re faced with stories full of face warping filters, photoshopped bodies or edited skin. “Remove yourself from anything that zaps your confidence.”
By Ava Monaghan