"Now, I’d never filter or smooth: I know my acne doesn’t define me" • Fani Mari

Fani Mari (@fani_breakeven) is tackling outdated beauty ideals with her authentic, unfiltered, and unapologetic platform, one which embodies everything that LUÜNA and our #GirlTalk series stand for.

Smashing conventional standards of womanhood, Fani is with us to talk about acne, PCOS, and owning your natural beauty.

What is your period animal and why? 

Maybe a bear? Sleepy and hungry and not to be annoyed! 

First thought when you see your period each month.

Happiness, that my body is working well!

Something someone has said about you to make you feel insecure. What did you tell them? What would you tell them now? 

Anything body-related, I used to take it at heart but now I wouldn’t even give a second to those comments. I would say that whatever you think of my body is your opinion and it doesn’t interest me.

Message to someone about to start their period?

Listen to your body! If you feel like you have to take it slow for a couple of days, do it. Eat that chocolate, do whatever feels comfortable.

Your blog is a beautiful online space where you speak candidly about beauty, particularly skin. What initially inspired you to start documenting your authentic self?

To be honest it just happened without me thinking too much about it. There was a shift in more natural beauty and, although daunting at first, it felt inspiring to me. Now, I’d be happy to share (almost) any bare-faced selfie.

AMEN to being so open and frank with regards to your skin journey. How do you feel about the growing movement amongst the beauty community to share an unfiltered side to ourselves?

Yes! So many accounts showing their real skin; whether that’s acne, rosacea, pigmentation, etc. It makes me very happy that people with a huge following highlight that too, like Katie Jane Hughes who created the hashtag #NormalizeSkinTexture.

Why do you think it’s so important to show this side of ourselves?

Personally, this helps me especially if I’m feeling bad about my acne or if my skin isn’t glowy. It puts things into perspective and connects Instagram to real life a bit more. It’s all too easy showing a perfect image online but that’s never the case - no one is perfect and we need the real images as the reminder to be kinder to ourselves overall, skin issues included.

"It’s all too easy showing a perfect image online but that’s never the case - no one is perfect"

How much do you think we use this front to conform to the “male gaze”?

I think it’s different for everyone but if taking care of yourself for men is what you enjoy doing, then go for it! There’s no right or wrong, though I’m too strong-minded to accept a man’s suggestion (like “you look better without makeup”) unless it feels good for me. Having said that, if I was to go on a date, I would always put on makeup but that’s because it would make me feel good as well.

What have you learned in your own journey with PCOS, and if you could leave any others living with PCOS with one thing, what would you say?

I’ve learned how important periods are and no matter how ‘shameful’ they are often portrayed as they are a sign that our bodies work well.

PCOS is often improved with contraceptive pills which will regulate the hormones, but having taken them for over four years, I can confidently say they made things worse than just having irregular periods.

PCOS is so complicated because it affects every part of the body, face and acne included, and though different for everyone, eating healthy and exercising helps massively.

If your body moves and is nourished, your hormones will likely work better too. Also, it’s okay to ask for a second opinion! My first doctor didn’t think that the pill could be affecting my mental health, so I found someone who believed it could.   

 Find more about Fani on her blog and on Instagram ❤

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