Beth: Making Self-love Accessible


Beth is a content creator, uni-student, and educator.


My name is Beth, and I’m UK-based. Originally, my platform had nothing to do with skin positivity. I created it 2 years ago, and I started my Instagram purely because I was bedbound. There were four or five months where I couldn’t do small things because of endometriosis. I have quite a few illnesses, and one of them causes me to have nerve pain when I sit down too. So, during those months, I couldn’t sit down, I couldn’t walk, and then the endometriosis was causing me to be severely bed-bound. But, during that time, I thought to myself - “So, I can’t get up today... I might as well post about face masks because why not? I started doing reviews on cruelty-free makeup, and over time, it became a safe space about skin.”


The moment it became a safe space for skin was about a year and a half ago. My acne flared up, and it was at the most painful and prolific it had ever been. That same summer I joined TikTok, and I found out that TikTok can be a very bad place. I had always posted filter-free, but not with the amount of acne that I had. Some of my videos went viral, and a lot of the comments were abhorrently disgusting things. On one video, there were only five people that said - “You look beautiful. My skin looks like this too.” Many others were absolutely terrible. I remember sitting down one afternoon, and I cried for an hour at the things people were saying about me. I sat on my bed crying my eyes out, and my brother came to me and asked “what’s the matter?”


But, I couldn’t talk properly.”


He said, “Why are you letting their comments get to you? They’re making a comment on a two-minute video.”


And suddenly, I thought to myself - “Screw this. No, I’m not having this. I’m not going to have people say the level of disgusting things they do and be comfortable with it purely because it’s on the internet. So, literally overnight - I decided to stand up against these nasty trolls. My purpose shifted. I decided to show people who look like me that it’s okay. That moment flipped me, and I became stronger for it.”


Moments like that break a lot of people. It makes them want to turn back, hide away, stop posting, and put on a full face of makeup. But I wanted to stand up for people who had skin like me but couldn’t deal with that level of hate. It’s not easy to deal with, but I was ready to take it on. From there, I started getting more and more confident with my skin. I’ve always wanted to be someone who stands up for people. Most of all, I wanted to prevent people from feeling the way I felt for 10 years.”


While my skin is barely a thought now, I used to think - “I’m going out. I need to put on makeup.” 5 years ago, this was the number one thing on my mind.”


If someone came over, I had to put on makeup. Two Christmases ago, my extended family came to stay with us for five or six days, I woke up early so I could put my makeup on. Except for the people close to me, no one saw my face without foundation, color correction, and concealers. That’s the headspace I was in for a long time.”


Now, I don’t care about the things society perceives as flaws. I used to buy silicone primers to fill my pores. When I would catch a glimpse of myself in the car’s review mirror, I could still see the texture and red spots despite the primer, and I hated that. Whereas now, I think to myself - “It’s just my face. That’s all.”


I’m not dependent on makeup anymore. I love makeup, and I think it’s creative and beautiful, but if something doesn’t make you happy, scrap it. If something is unnecessary and doesn’t bring you joy, it doesn’t have a place. It’s better to avoid things that make you uncomfortable because then omitting them becomes habit.”

Find things that make you comfortable and happy. One thing that makes me really happy is skincare. At night, when I’m doing my double cleanse, I put some really feel-good music on, and I sing to myself. I boost my mood while I’m taking my makeup off or washing my face. As I look at my reflection, I do things that make me happy and boost my endorphins. Through this, I accustom myself to feeling happy when I look at my bare face. I also try to find three good things about the day whilst I’m doing my skincare routine. If my day was really bad, I say them out loud.”


When you look at yourself with acne, you’re conditioned to feel sad. I’ve had acne since I was 10 or 11, and I can still remember the things people said, who said it, and where I was when they said it. They were just comments so people didn’t take it as bullying, but I remember everything. So, now I do things that make me happy as I look at my bare face to undo some of this.”


I also surround myself with people that look like me and share the same struggles. I don’t exclusively people follow on Instagram who are ultra-slim, have perfect skin, and are perfectly abled because I know that’s not good for me. It’s nothing against them, but if I’m not enjoying the content, and it’s making me feel bad, why not switch it off? If you’re constantly being bombarded with what you are not and what you can’t be, it brings you down.”


So, I follow different people who have a range of body types, skin types, and abilities. My feed is diverse, and at no point do I feel like I don’t fit in. We need to start thinking of who we follow on social media as who we would choose to be friends with in real life. In real life, we wouldn’t choose an environment that makes us feel like a sore thumb. I do have friends who have clear skin or are thin, but it’s not exclusive to that. I even follow people who are opposite of me, but they still inspire me. Their content makes me feel good. I would suggest this to anyone who is struggling with their self-esteem and accepting who they are.”




With having chronic illnesses, I completely understand this struggle. People with chronic illnesses are really marginalized from the body positive and beauty spaces. Beauty spaces have to continue to show people in their true forms. Brands also need to make things more accessible when they are doing shoots and press events. I have turned down so many invitations from brands because of feeling like a burden. For example, I also have chronic fatigue so I can’t come down on a 3 or 4-hour drive and then come home the same day. Plus, I would need someone to drive me. I’ll ask - “Can a hotel be included?” They’ll be like - “No, you can pay for that.” I could go on a train, but I can’t go on a train because my OCD will be off the chart especially, and plus, I would need to bring my wheelchair. So, it all either becomes too much, too expensive, or both.”


These brands are inviting people with disabilities, but they’re not making the opportunity accessible. They make arrangements through a completely able-bodied lens. Like, if someone is deaf, I can’t tell you the things that the deaf person is going to need. I can only guess. They might need to have a spot to sit where they can get the acoustics right with their hearing aids, but we wouldn’t know that without chatting with them.”


No one knows how to make something more accessible than the group that needs to access it. So, these brands don’t necessarily need someone who is disabled to be full-time in their company, but they need someone they can consult with to make sure things are accessible.”


That’s why I want to keep growing, and working with big brands because this is the contribution that I bring to the table. I also love content creation because it really suits the fact that I can’t leave the house due to my disability. It really fits into the fact that somedays I can’t get out of bed or create something. Because content creation is so flexible, I can do it when my body allows me. It affords me the freedom to attain all of the things that I thought weren’t possible before. I’m very excited for the future, and I’m just going to ride the wave. I’m going to keep building my life and keep enjoying it.”