Mikayla Nogueira is known for being a beauty influencer, but she says she hasn’t “felt beautiful in months.” In a recent TikTok, the 23-year-old shared that her self-hatred is at an all-time high.
“I have zero confidence. I hate how I look. I haven’t found beautiful in months, and I don’t know why this is happening to me,” she said before quickly clarifying, “Well, that’s a lie. I do [know why]. It’s this job.”
Nogueira continued, stating that while she appreciates the compliments, it doesn’t make her feel better about herself. “It just makes me feel like I’m obligated to be something that I’m not,” she said. “And that’s not OK.”
Nogueira’s words remind us that we should always love and accept ourselves for who we are — flaws and all — while it might be difficult to avoid allowing other people’s judgments to get to us.
Nogueira, an influencer with 13.4 million followers, has felt immense pressure to look a certain way. “When you have a job that requires you to stare at yourself all day long, you begin to hate everything about your face and your body or whatever — not only because you’re picking yourself apart, but because your audience is also doing the same thing,” she said.
She stresses that it doesn’t matter if she’s wearing makeup or not. “I hate looking at myself in the mirror, and I hate taking photos of myself”, and “The worst part of it is, I’ve completely forgotten who I am. I feel very lost, and I feel extremely confused about myself.”
As mentioned by Nogueira in TikTok, seen by 7.3 million people, many feelings can be chalked up to body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition in which “you can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
In a follow-up post, avoiding photos, attempting to conceal oneself or body, and avoiding social interactions are all common behaviors that Nogueira describes. “I just constantly found myself wishing that I was the old Mikayla, which is a horrible way to feel, especially because I’ve had so many incredible accomplishments happen. I should be able to enjoy them and celebrate them, but I’m so f**king depressed.”
Nogueira’s followers engage with her not only for her makeup tutorials but also for the moments of honesty and vulnerability she shares with them. From weight gain, while trying on swimsuits for summer to experiencing a “major breakthrough” with her eating disorder while shopping for jeans, Nogueira is relatable and genuine. The Boston native wants to be more vocal about her feelings recently because she’s noticed a change in herself–she “stopped doing [her] makeup the way [she] want[ed] to do it.”
“Because of all the pressure to follow the trends and to look like everybody else, right now, I’m going to do my makeup exactly the way I want to do it.”
This problem was relatable for many people, including Lady Gaga, who commented, “I have been through this before and still do sometimes, and sometimes it’s good to take little breaks from the mirror/camera just to calm the mind ❤️.” And though I can’t speak for Nogueira, Gaga’s words likely helped many people feel better who were experiencing the same emotions as Nogueira. When influential people speak up about beauty standards, it reminds us that we all suffer from comparable insecurities and disappointments, regardless of how famous or popular, we are on social media.
After applying a heavy contour, complete coverage concealer, and a “whole lot of f*king bronzer because that is what I like,” Nogueira finished the video by doing her eyebrows. “I get sht on for doing my eyebrows black, but I’m gonna do my eyebrows black. Because having dark eyebrows always made me feel my best — this is my aesthetic, and I love them.” After I applied glitter to her lids, she smiled and remarked, “I went off the rails, and I don’t regret it.”
We’re thankful for this queen who is open and honest about her life. Beauty standards are unrealistic, and we all have moments (or months) where we feel down about our appearance. Mikayla, you’re gorgeous — inside and out!