Life is too short to agonise over a few pimples. Of course, in a perfect world, we would all have clear, dewy skin but this is not a perfect world and that, more often than not, isn’t the case. Sometimes zits happen. So, instead of letting pimples get you down, the time has come to take a deep breath, shrug your shoulders and decidedly not give a fuck.
That’s the message of the new Ashley Armitage-shot campaign for ZitSticka, the acne-positive brand behind the stick-on pimple patch ‘Killa’. Since its inception, ZitSticka has worked to normalise acne and encourage people to accept pimples as an everyday part of life that you shouldn’t be ashamed of.
With its new campaign, “We Got You,” ZitSticka wants to send us the message that a few pimples shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love, whether that’s indulging in a pint of your favourite ice cream or enjoying a glass of wine after a long day of work.
“I wanted to show real-life situations that people can relate to,” says Armitage, whose joyful, body-celebrating work made her a natural choice for the brand to collaborate with. “I wanted to make something with an impact while also being lighthearted and funny. The ZitSticka “We Got You” video sends out the positive message that – sure, acne happens, but let’s continue living how we want to live and deal with it when a pimple comes.”
As someone who struggles with issues of self-esteem, Armitage knows all too well how even the tiniest of breakouts can affect your mood which is why she was so keen to work on the project and showcase a wider representation of women than we are traditionally used to seeing in the media. “When I was growing up, I only really saw images of girls that fit into a tiny mould: thin, white, hairless, perfect skin. I never saw imagery that looked like me and my friends, so I couldn’t relate to anything,” she says. “Through my work, I try to produce images that women can relate to and see that there is no pressure to be, act, or look one way. At the end of the day, my work is out there to try and make people feel better about themselves. ”
For the campaign, Armitage worked with friend and make-up artist Shideh Kafei to make sure the message felt authentic, making the decision not to cover up the models’ blemishes and acne at all. While it may not seem like a radical choice to show acne in a campaign for an acne product, all too often in the past we’ve watched models with flawless skin flog us skincare which ultimately only reinforces the stigma that surrounds acne.
“In order to normalise a stigma, you have to open up the conversation first. This campaign is trying to get people talking; we’re highlighting the fact that everybody gets acne. If we acknowledge pimples as normal and nothing to be ashamed of then hopefully they won’t be seen as a negative thing,” she says. “At the end of the day, we’re just trying to say that nobody should make you feel bad about your skin and it’s totally up to you whether you want to treat a pimple or not.”