Acne is celebrated in Moto Guo’s Milan Fashion Week show

I will defend makeup to the death. That’s kind of my job as a Beauty Editor, I guess. I use it as an extension of my personality. I use it when I need a confidence boost and I’d even go as far to say that sometimes, I use it as an art form – although my contouring skills need work… But I’ll also be the first to admit that the beauty standards set by cosmetic companies, fashion houses, magazines and the media are unattainable, unrealistic and can also be downright damaging.

We’re so used to seeing ‘perfect’ models strut their stuff down the catwalks, with their ‘perfect’ hair, ‘perfect’ legs and ‘perfect’ skin, that I think we’ve almost become immune to the fact that that just isn’t real life. These women (and men) have spent at times, hours, in hair and makeup; with every pimple, blemish or dry patch of skin made to vanish but magicians/makeup artists who’ve spent years learning their craft.

This is why when Malaysian menswear designer Moto Guo, purposely put pimples, red patches and uneven skin tones on the makeup menu for his Milan Men’s Fashion Week show this week, it got everyone talking. 



When I first heard about this I was pretty intrigued to see what ‘fresh faced’ actually meant and kind of knew there must be a bit of a catch… and there is. These models are still wearing makeup – they’re just wearing it to make it look like they’re not. Go figure.

The point remains however, and I found it so refreshing to see a condition so many of us have faced or are still facing, staring us literally in the face. We’re told to embrace our curves and love our flaws, but ‘bad skin’ and ‘breakouts’ are still considered such a taboo. I myself am guilty of spending a tonne of time and effort writing about ways to get rid of spots, rather than embracing them.

Going through an acne breakout is never nice and they of course can be painful and leave scars on confidence as well as outer appearance, but I think it’s a very important point to make that a LOT of us have experienced it at some point in our lives. NHS Choices reckon a whopping 80% of people aged 11-30 are affected by it. 

It’s a shame Moto Guo didn’t book genuine young people with acne prone skin for this show and fully embraced the idea, but this is certainly a step in the right direction. We should never be ashamed of our skin. (Also note, the use of female models within a menswear show, which is another excellent step towards more non-binary fashion.)

A spokeswoman for the designer told,

“The reason [Moto Guo] wanted to create this look was because he thinks kids and teenagers should not always be flawless.”

And flawless, they are not. Nor should they aim to be.

What do you think of Moto Guo’s runway show?

Do you agree there’s too much pressure on young people to have perfect skin? Let us know in the comments below.