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28 Beautiful Photos Of Women With Skin Conditions By Photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor

Published 3 months ago

Epidermis is a photography project by Sophie Harris-Taylor that aims to fight the stigma surrounding skin conditions. Having suffered from severe acne as a teenager and throughout her early twenties, the photographer knows how hard it can be to live with a skin condition. Even though Sophie learned to live with it over the years, she says it affected her self-esteem and made her feel ashamed and embarrassed.

In Epidermis, the photographer shows that not all women have perfectly smooth skin like we often see on social media – some of them suffer from conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema, and are often pressured into covering it up with makeup. This time, however, we get to see their real, uncovered faces.

“Most of my personal projects seem to come from my own life experiences and throughout there is always some element of my own vulnerability,” explained Sophie in an interview with Bored Panda. “I began to reflect on my own past and feelings towards my skin, I’d suffered from severe acne. Back then, there were no idols, role models and people to look up to who had anything but flawless skin. Which obviously meant I struggled with my own self image. We’ve come a long way since then, what with body positivity and generally people speaking out about beauty standards and promoting diversity. However I still felt that there was a lack in representing skin in an honest and open way. Epidermis for me was a way of showcasing beautiful women in skins less often seen.”

Sophie says feeling comfortable in her own skin is still something she personally struggles with but hopes to one day practice what she preaches. “With a lot of these kinds of series, there’s an element of trying to shock, but that was the opposite of what I was trying to achieve. I really wanted Epidermis to be seen as a beauty shoot first, and a commentary on skin second,” added the photographer.

She found most of her models on social media by contacting people who were already sharing their skin stories. “Once I’d started sharing a few photos, it was much easier to put out an open casting as people realized it wasn’t in any way exploitative and I was actually trying to find beauty in this,” said Sophie.

The photographer received a lot of support from people all over the world, thanking her for shedding light on the subject. “I think it shows that the more open and honest we are about these things, the less alone people feel and the less stigmatized they become,” said Sophie. She says it’s important for all of us take responsibility and set an example for the younger generation by not being afraid to embrace the things that make us unique. Check out Sophie’s photos in the gallery below!

More info: sophieharristaylor.com | Instagram | Facebook |Twitter

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#1

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“Being diagnosed with an incurable skin condition at a young age had an enormous impact on me. I felt like I had no control over my appearance, my self-confidence was destroyed, and I felt fearful of my future.” – Lex

#2

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“[It] caused me constant physical and mental pain. It was completely unbearable. But I wouldn’t change it as it has made me so much more confident and strong.” – Mariah

#3

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“My acceptance of eczema as a feature of mine that will wax and wane rather than a flaw to be constantly fought in an attempt to rid myself of it.” – Issey

#4

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#5

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#6

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“I prefer not wearing makeup and letting my skin breathe. When I was younger, I would never leave without wearing makeup. I can’t remember the point when I stopped caring but now I’ll happily wander about without it. In the evenings if I go out, I like the transformational element of wearing makeup. I’ve moved away from using makeup as a way of covering up my skin but see it as more of an artistic venture.” – Annie

#7

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#8

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

I stopped taking opportunities because I felt I could amount to nothing because my skin looked a certain way. I have grown so much over the years and these thoughts and beliefs subsided. I have grown so much with my confidence and I couldn’t be happier.” – Abi

#9

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“My skin has always affected me. I’ve always been a naturally confident person in every other aspect of my life but if I think someone is looking at or judging my skin, I will instantly feel self-conscious.” – Sarah

#10

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“I can see that vulnerability but instead of belittling it and interpreting it as a negative thing, I think it comes across as powerful. Usually, we take pictures from our best angles to hide the things we dislike, but these pictures confront those features and make you realize that maybe those things really aren’t that bad after all.” – Charlotte

#11

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“It sounds quite trivial but as someone with already low confidence, having bad skin often leaves me worrying about if others are staring at me, and I find a lot of my time is occupied with negative thoughts about my self image- something I know is really unhealthy and I’d actively love to alter.” – Charlotte

#12

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“I’m personally trying to re-train myself in how I understand what beauty actually is.” – Ezinne

#13

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“I was embarrassed to even step foot outside my house. The thought of people looking at all the “problems” on my face gave me anxiety. I just wanted to hide my face from everyone. It’s been a difficult process, but I feel more empowered and I stopped caring what people think of my skin anymore. At the end of the day, it’s just skin. It shouldn’t dictate my entire life. Though my skin has gotten better ever since I started taking better care of my body, I’ve accepted that I may never have perfect skin. And that’s okay.” -Joice

#14

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“As I have gotten older, I have realized that skin isn’t naturally smooth, even, untextured and that none of the faces I looked at in real life looked like my ‘ideal’ skin. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes stop and look in the mirror and feel ashamed of my face, particularly if I’m out and about with no makeup on, but I’ve learned that those thoughts aren’t useful and try not to obsess over them.” – Izzy

#15

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#16

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#17

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#18

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#19

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#20

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“I’m annoyed at myself that I spent so long thinking people would judge my personality based on my skin. I guess you’re always your own worst critic. I’m close to a place where I’m accepting that I’ll never have perfect skin, and that’s okay.” – Alice

#21

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

“My self esteem has continually decreased as the acne progressed. Most recently I’ve become more introverted though I’m naturally more of an extrovert. I’ve noticed I’m also a lot more critical and sensitive about myself even beyond my skin.” – Ezinne

#22

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#23

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#24

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#25

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#26

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#27

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

#28

Image source: Sophie Harris Taylor

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One day, this guy just kind of figured - "I spend most of my time on the internet anyway, why not turn it into a profession?" - and he did! Now he not only gets to browse the latest cat videos and fresh memes every day but also shares them with people all over the world, making sure they stay up to date with everything that's trending on the web. Some things that always pique his interest are old technologies, literature and all sorts of odd vintage goodness. So if you find something that's too bizarre not to share, make sure to hit him up!

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Tags

acne, body positivity, eczema, Epidermis, how to treat acne, living with acne, skin conditions, skin positivity, Sophie Harris Taylor
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