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The 'Up-Close' series is meant to be seen on a large screen. Please go full-screen by pressing Control⌃ + Command⌘ + F if on a Mac, or press F11 if using Windows. Please put your screen brightness on full.
Feel free to scroll down from here or select a name to see the photographs and words of that person. Names in quotes are pseudonyms.
I grew up in England. Before that was in Japan, and so there was a lot of mixed-race people, but they were all light skinned. So I wasn't always sure, you know, the typical story of not knowing which community I belong to, especially since I belong to so many. It always felt weird to have my skin.
Growing up, there were definitely more darker people than me. A lot of British people are just white, and then a lot of immigrants at the time that I grew up were darker. They weren't really mixed-race, either. I was in the middle. And you know, high school is high school, you get teased for everything. So I got teased about my skin, obviously.
Growing up, I started getting scars and trying to figure out how to get rid of them. I have scars all over me. And they're like memories. Some of them good. Some of them bad. Like [the one on] my back that you just can't get rid of. And so you have to learn to live with them. And that's kind of where I am in my life, trying to learn, especially with the one on my back. It's always going to be there. I don't see it, but I know it's there and you know, when someone does eventually see me with my shirt off, it's like I feel the need that I have to first say something about the scar. I always do. Almost like a 'make fun of yourself first so no one else can' kind of thing.
I was in a bad relationship, and he was abusive verbally at first, and then got physical. And one night he was really upset about something. He pushed me. I was right up next to the dog gate. Just took out a whole bunch of my skin. And so it's like a cautionary tale for myself to not let things bottle up inside. And if I see these signs in a relationship, that it's just not right for me... So the way I try to view it is with a silver lining, right? Lesson learned.
Like, it's just there for the life, right? So, like, the other things on my body or just my body in general, we're in it for the long haul and I needed to better view the scar. And so that's what I think of it now. It's a warning and unfortunately, a reminder.
It's funny because I at one point in my late twenties, early thirties, I fell in love with my skin and my body, which was a really weird thing for me. I just loved it and I felt like– the time that I was the most confident in my own skin.
Then it all started to go away, like, my skin started to like lose its sheen. It drives me crazy looking in the mirror now because I have all these little dark freckles. They're not even freckles. It's just from like, by pores.
I like my body. I'm trying to get back to loving it. It doesn't feel like my body because I've gained weight through the covid lockdown. So I very much like my body. I'm trying to fall back in love with my body and not just because of losing weight, but just because it's mine. And it's going to change until I die.
And that's really where I'm at in my mind, is like trying to remember that even if I got back to my perfect weight, I'm going to keep getting older. I'm going to start to sag. It's like I want to fall in love with… people want to fall in love with the real person, not just like the outside thing, but inside.
That's what I'm trying to do with my body now. Finally fall in love with the inside of my body. Not just what it looks on the outside. So, that's my current journey.
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