Here are two facts about me at age 16:
• I had acne.
• My AOL screenname was MavisInkslinger.
Having trouble picturing such a cool teenager? Allow me to help.
I know you can't see the acne in the photo, but trust me, it was there. That was taken with a disposable camera--it was 1995, after all--so you're not seeing every little detail of my skin.
The same can't be said for teenagers in the spotlight, like 17-year-old Lorde, who inspires xoVainers on the reg. Like many girls her age, she's dealing with acne and the marks it leaves behind; but unlike many girls her age, she has the highest-quality cameras pointed at her on a daily basis.
She's OK with that, though, as shown by a March 30th Twitter post comparing two photos taken while she'd been on stage at Lollapalooza in Chile that day: one was retouched to smooth out her skin, and one had been left as is.
In the days of dial-up modems, this kind of post was unimaginable in every way: not only did we have no concept of the digital access we'd have to celebrities in the future, we also had no idea that a celebrity--a teenage one--could be an inspiration for being both realistic and self-assured. (No offense, Brandy, but your skin was perfect--I just couldn't relate.)
If I had been 16-year-old @MavisInkslinger on Twitter (that username is available, by the way), I would have been one of the tens of thousands of people to retweet and favorite that in the last day or so, because I would've needed to see that: the silliness of Photoshopping, the confidence of a fellow teen with similar skin, the smiley that makes it seem like she sincerely does believe it and wants everyone else to be OK with their own flaws, too.
But almost-35-year-old @MarciRobin favorited it instead, because I still need to see reminders like that sometimes.