Beauty vlogger Jackie Aina spoke openly with her followers on Wednesday, Dec. 9, after fans started to point out her skin flaws.
Aina, 33, initially shared a video of her skin care routine, which had followers praising her for being “brave” by showing her bare face.
Hours later she posted a statement addressing the comments.
“Listen up yall and I mean this in the nicest way possible… hyperpigmentation, dark marks are a normal part of life and adulthood,” the YouTube star wrote.
She continued, “Yes I am aware my skin is not perfect right now. No I do not need constant reminders of this.”
“I am not the ambassador for acne marks,” Aina declared. “I DO NOT want them there and I’m not more confident and care free than anybody else. I’m just doing my job which happens to be on camera.”
The beauty vlogger when on to say that people saying she’s “being brave” by showing her skin makes her feal “really really self conscious.”
“I truly don’t even think my skin is nearly as bad as people are saying it is but every time it’s pointed out it’s like great thanks for the reminder,” she added.
Aina suggested the only way to normalize less-than-perfect skin conditions is to not bring attention to them.
“I would much rather bond with my audience in ways that it doesn’t come at the expense of pointing out that I’m ‘flawed’ constantly,” the vlogger wrote.
In the caption of the statement she added, “I am not looking for skincare suggestions or advice. you all may not see it but my skin is healing beautifully, it just takes time. thank you.”
Aina later posted several videos on her Instagram Story and admitted that in the future she may refrain from posting her “real self” because she’s “tired of being the poster child for acne marks.”
“I don’t want to do something that’s helpful for other people if it comes at risk of putting me down, whether you realize it or not,” she told her followers.
The vlogger has long been candid about the difficulties she’s faced in the beauty community, especially as an influencer of color.
“A lot of Black creators can probably say they receive an incredible amount of social media bullying,” she told Refinery29 in September 2019. “You have the people who don’t look like you, who feel like you’re too radical and all you do is talk about race. And then, sometimes you get criticism from your own community that you’re not racial enough. It’s this constant tug-of-war of trying not to lose yourself in the middle of that.”
She continued, “I don’t like how, because I have a lot of followers, I’m supposed to be immune to abuse. It’s not true.”
“There’s literally no amount of positivity or money that could make reading mean comments feel better,” Aina added.
As one of the most notable Black beauty creators, she said, “I don’t want to be the only person that people name drop when they think of us. I want to see everybody else getting opportunities just like I am.”
“This whole idea that there has to be a token and that the token has to be super perfect — I think that it stems from racism and this idea that you have to be a certain kind of cooperative, well-mannered, docile Black person or else, they’ll replace you. It’s really sad,” Aina admitted.