YouTuber Cassandra Bankson on acne positivity

Before Cassandra Bankson became “your acne big sister” with over 1.51 million YouTube subscribers, she was a teenage girl who struggled to come to terms with the severe pimples that covered her face, back, and neck. chest.

“I remember my first pimple very well – I was in third grade and this bump appeared on the side of my nose,” Bankson told POPSUGAR. His mother told him not to worry; it would go away. “My mom didn’t know this would take over my life.” Twenty-four dermatologists, a long list of topicals, and a few oral antibiotics later, no doctor has been able to elucidate the cause of his acne. “It was just like I was a Hacky Sack going from department to department.”

Then, with determination, “a little Photoshop and a good lighting”, Bankson embarked on modeling. “It was almost proof for high school and teenage bullies, like, ‘Hey, you called me ugly, you called me a freak of nature. Well, I’m here in a magazine. ‘”Yet while modeling has helped change others. opinions of her, it did not change her personal opinion of herself. “I put on that confident face and pretended to be pretty, but I looked at the picture in the magazine or in a campaign and I was like, ‘It’s not me. “”

“I was like, ‘OK, yeah, I have some imperfections, but that doesn’t mean I’m not pretty. These things aren’t mutually exclusive.'”

The judgment that came with the industry didn’t help either. “I would be booked for a lookbook based job and then they would see me in person and say ‘No’ to me,” Bankson said. “It was super dehumanizing.” To help alleviate the problem, she mastered a makeup technique to cover up her breakouts, which included layering a primer to fill in uneven texture, color corrector to correct pigment variations, and foundation for everything. smooth. “I would go with my face made up and I would say to the makeup artist, ‘Hey, just like, don’t take off the foundation, please add it all on top.’”

It took a few years of working in the modeling industry before Bankson could even say to herself, “‘OK, I’m not completely worth, I’m not completely ugly,” she said. Slowly, she started to gain self-confidence, but she still suffered from acne. It was then that she decided to enroll in the school of medical esthetician; that’s also when she launched her YouTube channel in 2010. “It wasn’t popular, it was like a hidden newspaper.”

Even on YouTube, she retained the character of a “pretty girl” without acne or struggles. It lasted about six years before reaching a point where she felt the need to cover her entire mirror with paper so that she couldn’t see her reflection. “Eventually I started to write things on the papers. I wrote statements like, ‘What you look like has nothing to do with your impact on this world’ and ‘I’m beautiful'” , Bankson said. “The first hundred times I looked I was like, ‘Bullsh * t’, but the 200th time I was like ‘OK, yeah, I have some imperfections, but that doesn’t mean I’m not. pretty. These things are not mutually exclusive. ‘”

Bankson realized that she could choose to continue to “hate” herself or to allow herself to be happy. She chose the latter of the two. “I think the hardest part was accepting that I deserve love, attention and appreciation,” she said.

Now, Bankson’s 1.51 million YouTube subscribers know they can turn to her for everything from honest shots on celebrity beauty routines to mini chemistry lessons, advice on how to get started. acne and vegan product recommendations. By far, her favorite thing about the acne community she’s built is hearing from other people with acne. “People tell me how their lives have changed and how they have changed,” she said.

There has been an undeniable change in the public’s perception of acne since Bankson began her skincare journey on YouTube over 10 years ago, and she thinks that has to do in part with the power of social media, where the acne awareness movement has been able to flourish. However, she doesn’t like to take credit for starting the movement or even being one of the first “influencers” to become aware of her skin.

“Every person who has ever kissed their skin, or gone out without makeup, or felt the need not to cover up, or even come to the dermatology clinic and agreed to treat their acne but not hate themselves for the process – that’s what acne awareness is. “

Image Source: Courtesy of Cassandra Bankson

About Sally Dominguez

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