Talk Dirty to Me: Acne is an Embarrassing Subject.

Talk Dirty to Me: Acne is an Embarrassing Subject.

Have you ever had someone point out a pimple to you? That’s what I thought.

People don’t naturally point out your flaws, but they wouldn’t be as cautious with, say, a bad haircut as they would be with a bright red spot right smack on your forehead. Acne sufferers do not seek help from embarrassment, because they know that acne is socially considered a taboo subject. The mention of the word “acne” brings about nervous laughter. It is something you aren’t supposed to acknowledge or talk about.

I even have a problem pointing out that there is help available to acne-suffering strangers that I meet. I don’t want to embarrass them. Contributing to the social stigma, acne problems have even been featured in many spoofs in movies.

In There’s Something About Mary, there was a funny scene involving a grotesque pimple, while in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, poor Toula had a breakout on the day of her wedding—a real spoiler—and was told to put Windex on her pimple.


The notion that acne is embarrassing arises from a number of common misconceptions on the origins of acne. The undercurrent of the myth is that acne is filthy and shameful, something to be hidden. Acne often causes so much embarrassment, guilt, and debilitating daily emotional trauma that many find it difficult to talk about the subject even with each other—let alone have someone scrutinize it like some science project.




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