I scrolled through the Squat Because no one raps about little butts Gy shirt Reddit SkincareAddiction forum (what an apt name) for hours, and used my “emergency” credit card to buy products I couldn’t actually afford. I watched YouTube videos of dewy, glowing “skinfluencers” to learn the molecular differences between an essence and a toner. I diligently purchased the latest “fave” products of beauty editors, telling myself this new serum would get rid of my acne and therefore my self-consciousness and then my unhappiness. It’s easy for me to laugh at this line of thinking now. But at the time, someone on the internet saying, “This product is a game-changer!” was like hearing, “You’ll be able to look at yourself in the mirror again.” I started fantasizing about a life with poreless, acne-free skin, and the message that would send to the world: That I, the queer black boy trying to work a grueling digital media job and earn his MFA at the same time, had everything under control. (I didn’t.)
e eye, or draw all over your face. Who cares, have fun!” Gutierrez says.