AfricaStoryIn My Skin by Michelle Sank

In My Skin is a photographic project about young people 18 and under in the UK who are challenging their body image.

In My Skin is a photographic project about young people 18 and under in the UK who are challenging their body image. 

Sank looks at those who have had or are considering having cosmetic surgery in order to become more acceptable to themselves and achieve their ideal of being ‘beautiful’. Intertwined with this she also documents body dysmorphia amongst young people who have struggled to conform to this social expectation resulting in eating disorders, body transformation and transgenderism.

Social consensus in Western society today is particularly focussed on physical beauty and achieving and maintaining the “perfect” face and body. This constant pressure fed through the media has led to a growing number of young people becoming dissatisfied with themselves and trying different ways to achieve the ‘beautiful’. This desire for perfection has been largely disseminated through photographic imagery in magazines, adverts, television etc. In My Skin makes use of this image dissemination but turns it on its head showing a different side – the human stories behind the decisions of these young people to undergo the physical changes. In those transitioning it is about them achieving an inner beauty by finally freeing themselves from society’s expectations and becoming comfortable in their own skin.

Cambell 16 Transgender Male to Female
In My Skin / Cambell 16 Transgender Male to Female

About Michelle Sank

Michelle Sank was born in South Africa and has been living in the UK since 1987. Her photographs have been exhibited and published extensively in England, Europe, Australia and Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A and are held in collections in the UK and the USA.

She has undertaken numerous commissions for prominent galleries and magazines in Europe and the USA. Her practice is concerned with the notion of encountering, collecting, and re-telling. She is interested in creating sociological landscapes, interplays of human form and location that are significant in their visual, sociological and psychological nuances. She has three published books to date: Becoming (Published by Belfast Exposed Photography and Ffotogallery,). The Water’s Edge: Women on the Waterfront (Published by Liverpool University Press,). The Submerged (Published by Schilt) [Official Website]

Elllie 21yrs - Tatooist
In My Skin / Elllie 21yrs – Tatooist

Hannah 17 Botox
In My Skin / Hannah 17 Botox

Hannah 20 yrs - lip fillers, breast augmentation, botox, body liposuction, rhinoplasty
In My Skin / Hannah 20 yrs – lip fillers, breast augmentation, botox, body liposuction, rhinoplasty

Jade 20 yrs Tattooed eyebrows and hair extensions John 19 years Gender Neutral Matt 18 Transgender female to male Michael 22 yrs - Body enhancing supplements and body waxing Nicola recovering anorexic and Rachel Breast Augmentation 20 year old twins Olli 19 years Anorexia sufferer

Roland 19 years Alias Lady Gaga
In My Skin / Roland 19 years Alias Lady Gaga

Saraya 20 years Full body liposuction and lip fillers at 18
In My Skin / Saraya 20 years Full body liposuction and lip fillers at 18

In My Skin / Ben 17 yrs Shaves legs and straightens his hair
In My Skin / Ben 17 yrs Shaves legs and straightens his hair

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