This photo is called: Years of Scars.
I have recently posted this photo on Flickr and no where else because I wasn’t comfortable with posting it on my personal Facebook just yet.
A day went by and I got an email from my Grandmothers cousin. We’ve re-connected, due to him discovering family from all over and trying to learn more about everyone.
We talked and he told me stories of when he was a teenager himself, he’s 73 years old right now.
His experiences sounded so adventurous and fun and I began to think, why do I worry about the littlest things?
So I finally posted this photo on my personal Facebook where all my friends and family can view it. The caption that goes along with this photo is this:
Just last night I had a conversation with someone about looks, looking presentable to people, and the stories black and whites can tell, so I decided to tell one of my stories through a raw, un-edited, black and white image; this was very difficult for me to take, very difficult for me to post, and very difficult for me to accept.
I’m very embarrassed about the acne scars that appear on my face.
I understand I’m a teenager and everyone goes through an acne phase, some have it worse, so I’m no different from others, but from the years of picking at my skin, and trying different acne treatments, it causes me to be shy.
When having a conversation, it’s hard for me to look at the person, I constantly avert my eyes thinking that if I can’t see the person, they can’t see me, when photos are taken of me I edit my skin to perfection, when I’m at home in my room sometimes I stare at myself in the mirror wishing I could start over, have a new layer of skin.
I try and use cover-up, to decrease the redness, but it doesn’t do anything, especially in cold weather; you see the purple, bruised scars.
Some think I’m self absorbed, taking many self portraits and posting them online. I not only take self portraits to tell a story, create something from my own interpretations on situations, but sometimes I take photos of myself to see how I’d look in another universe, where I didn’t have craters on my cheeks.
I’m not only reminded each day when I look in the mirror that I have poor skin, I’m constantly told by my peers that I have flaws, that I have imperfections on my face.
And that’s what hurts the most, knowing that people are bothered or grossed out by what they see, so they decide to state the obvious.
For once I don’t want to look like ‘I got beat up’.
I’ve been getting many messages from friends and strangers, whether it’s over Facebook messaging or text message.
Each ‘like’ I got on the photo, each kind word that was said to me, I cried. I have never felt so appreciated, have so much pride in a single black and white photo I had taken.
To hear everyone say how brave of me it was to post a photo such as this one with my story made me feel so accepted and less insecure about my skin. People have told me it’s inspirational, they respect me, they appreciate it.
And someone had said to me: “Kyla don’t be shy, because you were created in this way to perhaps help others overcome maybe the same thing you are struggling with.”
And when I think about that sentence, the more I believe-Maybe that’s just it.