Compelling Portraits of Young Adults Who Are Searching for Their Ideal Bodies

Photographer Michelle Sank’s series In My Skin looks at young adults and teens (under the age of 25) in the UK who are challenging their bodies with various surgeries and enhancements. Sank captures her sitters relaxing in their bedrooms, which lends further intimacy to the portraits — but the outside does not reflect the inside. They’re uncomfortable in their own skin and searching for the ideal. In some cases, the alterations are cosmetic and would be considered completely unnecessary by many. However, Sank also photographed people as young as 16 who have undergone gender reassignment surgery.

“Intertwined with this I am also documenting body dysmorphia as young people try and conform to this social expectation resulting in eating disorders and body transformation. Lastly I am documenting transgenderism and the struggle young people have to live within a body they were born into but have no affiliation with,” Sank elaborates on her website. The images, first spotted on Design Taxi, reflect our society’s preoccupation with physical beauty (in a non-judgmental way) and raise further questions about how this affects younger generations.

Photo credit: Michelle Sank
Photo credit: Michelle Sank

“Nicola — recovering from anorexia and Rachel — Breast augmentation — Twins 20 years old”