love the skin you’re in (shit…own it, girl [or boy])

I had a photo shoot yesterday.

it’s my third one. that being said I am not used to it by now and I am definitely no less embarrassed to stand in front of a camera and ‘work it’ (god I never thought I’d say that in real life) than I was the first time. I have plenty of usable photos for the author thing from the first two, but I really hate makeup – I hate that we are expected to wear it, I hate that we are “ugly” without it as far as society is concerned, and I hate that we willingly cake our faces with harmful chemicals every day in an effort to feel beautiful – and I really just wanted a few pieces of documented evidence of the essence that is me, like in real life.

so I told my photographer that I wanted photos and I wasn’t wearing makeup and I wasn’t dressing up in anything more than what I would wear to the bookstore on a Saturday, and I told him not to photoshop the shit.

I realize that I may make myself out to be a hypocrite and a fake for running a site that is partly about skincare and then turn around and say that I have awful skin.

yeah, I have acne. well, not really.

aside from the casual breakout, in high school I had great skin. but then I got older, developed an allergy to yeast (ie wheat ie basically everything we eat), fought candida for about six months, and now deal with it every day. sometimes I’ll go three or four days when my skin looks amazing, but most of the time it’s not so amazing. my body can’t process yeast properly, and I really love food, so it gets it out the only way it knows how: through its largest organ. skin, yo.

and an hour before the shoot I had this awful redness all around my face that made me feel like I hadn’t taken a shower in like three weeks and I was like well I should reschedule…

no. no, no, NO.

because that would defeat the purpose, right? the whole, let me be me in front of camera thing.

so, I went for it. now this is not a place for me to tout around my authorship so I’m not gonna blast the photos but I will share one:


now, if you see my author photos, you probably barely recognize me. because, like everyone else, I had my Best Friend Who Is A Professional Makeup Artist fix me up, spent like two hours on my hair, and pretended along with the rest of the world that I don’t write drunk, in my fucking pajamas like Every Other Author Ever.

the point is that I think the shoot was successful because I had about thirty friends tell me how beautiful I am (like they always do) when they saw the photos, imperfections in full effect on the screen. and I think, if you go around touting how it’s such bullshit that we’re all photoshopped to have clearer skin and look thinner and have bigger tits or whatever, and if you want to, you could present yourself as you really are, too. if you want. the more of us that do, the less this bullshit will thrive.

that being said, if it’s the chemicals in our skincare that ail you, check out Bare Bones Body Care. most awesome vegan skincare on the market because 1. the ‘girl in her kitchen’ never hides what’s in it (the all of three ingredients are on the front of the label), 2. it’s made locally (for those of you in the LA area), 3. Monica is into comic books (what other reason do you need really), 4. it smells amazing, 5. it’s cheap as fuck, 6. it’s fair trade, vegan, and is not tested on animals, 7. the moisturizer is my favorite product for Everything That Needs Moisturizing Ever, and 8. it supports a cause that as women, we should all be standing behind.

so yeah, own it. and if you’re afraid like so many other women are, just look at this picture of me being totally badass:



oh and it’ll literally take you like five minutes to get ready in the morning, which means more time for drinking all the coffee and doing shit with your cat.

or, if you’re Monica, reading comic books (I think she has a cat too. that’s #9)


Allie Burke is the no-makeup-wearing, simultaneous-YA-and-Vonnegut-loving, Nike-obsessed bestselling author and acclaimed Selfie Queen of the Universe. She’s written in various forms for an indeterminable amount of time, climbing up the Amazon charts and ultimate geekery from small time book-reviewer to literary editor, until the authory culture pushed her off the bridge of artistic literature.

She now writes shit she’ll probably never publish, never shuts up about John Green, only reads books she wasn’t asked to review, and drinks coffee at all the wrong times.

She is the creator of Organic Coffee, Haphazardly. 


2 thoughts on “love the skin you’re in (shit…own it, girl [or boy])”

  1. Ally, you are a total badass! I love that you went all no-makeup, no-photoshop for your shoot, and I plan to do the same for my next one. This is the only way women can win. We have to stop trying to make ourselves look “perfect” and recognize that we’re great just the way we are. Brava!!! xoxo


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