Acne throughout the ages

It occurs to me that people today probably worry more about their complexions than any other generation throughout history. That’s largely because of how exposed today’s individuals are to the public. We not only encounter throngs of people when we purposefully go into public to shop, socialize, or enjoy recreational activities. We’re also exposed to the public while sitting inside our homes.

No, I haven’t gone totally off my rocker, and I’m not suggesting that some conspiracy has placed cameras inside our homes to monitor every moment.

What I’m suggesting is that the proliferation of personal media exposes each person to (potentially) millions of people at any time. Even a decade ago, I never would have suspected that someone would carry a camera with them at every moment of the day, let alone that all of my friends would have these devices tucked away in their pockets literally every time that I saw them. But that is what we have today: mobile phones that double as cameras.

Of course, there is also the rise of social media. I don’t think that the growing number of camera phones in the world is unrelated to the growing importance of websites like Facebook. They are co-dependent. Without social media sites, who would really want to carry a camera phone?

The problem is that social media sites offer advantages and disadvantages. Obviously we’re into sharing our experiences with each other through new formats. But we’re also more aware of how we look at any given moment. After all, that moment could turn into an impromptu photo opp, right?

Just think, a hundred years ago, not even presidents had to worry that much about their appearances. Only the people around them regularly really knew what they looked like. Today, though, we’re all exposed to a worldwide audience that could criticize the way we look. No wonder so many people have image issues.

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