Adwoa Aboah has consistently worked to encourage positivity among others in the fashion industry, and around the world. As the founder of Gurls Talk, an online community that encourages open discussions on topics ranging from sexuality to body image, Adowa has frequently shared of her own experiences with mental health and healing, and this month, she’s using her Instagram as a way of discussing acne struggles.
For the month of September, Adwoa’s Gurls Talk program is focused on “Skin and Body,” and in commemoration, she’s decided to share selfies from a years-long project that documented her experience with acne. She explained that at the time, she had taken the pictures for herself, writing, “Only ever meant for my eyes in order to obsessively scrutinize over my up and down battle with my skin. Some days it was acne, some days it wasn’t too bad, then mass breakouts followed by clear as day skin. It was exhausting never knowing what your skin was going to look like from one day to another, it was even more exhausting caring so much, about what work thought or if people noticed.”
Adwoa continued, revealing her reason for sharing the photos now. “This month as much as I can I will be posting those photos, not because my skin is the worst you’ve ever seen but because it feels time to let that sh*t go, time to join force with a community who bare their pimples for the world to see.”
After sharing a set of images to announce the project, she shared a new set of selfies on Thursday, September 12, writing, “To be honest with you, i wasn’t going to post these ones, build up some courage I thought, save them for later in the month, maybe just leave them out completely. But here we are, out there for the world to see and it doesn’t feel as bad as I thought.” She went on to explain that the photos were taken during a “particularly bad bout of acne” and at the time, she tried to remain out of the public spotlight. “I picked, played and tortured both myself and face during that time and for what,” she wrote.
Her decision to share the images has gained support among followers, and many on Instagram have commended the model, writing, “You do only good with showing this” and “a word from one acne prone sister to another: this was beautifully put. love you with or without acne, you are beaming from within.”
Adwoa’s post also felt timely given that New York Fashion Week has just finished and London Fashion Week is about to start. In the midst of fashion month, when we’re spending endless hours scrolling through a sea of outfits on IG and taking in collections mostly worn by society’s definition of picture perfect models, Adwoa’s realness was a breath of fresh air.