Photographer Sophie Harris-Taylor knows what it means to live with a skin condition. As a teenager and throughout her early twenties, Sophie suffered from severe acne. It really affected her self-esteem, making her feel shame and embarrassment. Luckily, over the years she learned how to live with it.
Now, she's using her medium to give others the opportunity to do the same. In hopes to open up the conversation about skin, she created a portrait series called Epidermis. While normality is usually defined by the images we see all around us, we are led to believe all women have idealized, flawless skin. But they don't. Many women live with conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema and many of them feel pressure to hide them behind a mask of makeup. For her project, however, Sophie showed these beautiful women unashamed of their bare skin.
"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
“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
"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
“[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