Honest Photos Show People Getting Real About Their Skin

Nothing makes you feel more naked than your skin.

Buzzfeed's recent photo series called 12 People Talk About Their Scars, Birthmarks, Skin Conditions, And More features a collection of stunning images that get straight to the heart of the matter.

“It hurts when I read people saying things like, ‘I love all my flaws, even my freckles,’" says model Amada. "I don’t find my freckles to be a flaw."

Jennifer, who had open-heart surgery as a child, said: "I always knew the scar was there, but I wasn’t ready for other people to see it. ... Putting [this top] on and looking in the mirror today, I got kind of emotional."

To see the rest of the series please visit Buzz Feed.

Brian
“My vitiligo first showed up when I was 18 or 19. I felt really unattractive for a long time. I used makeup on it for a while, and then I moved to New York, and the stress of all that made it spread. I got to a point where I realized I just couldn’t wear makeup anymore, so I stopped.

“Now I’m a bartender, so I’m in the public eye all the time. I get people asking me about it, and being like, ‘That’s so cool!’ It can be frustrating. It’s just my body; I can’t do anything about it. Same with dating — I’ve gotten people who were like, ‘That’s kind of hot.’ I don’t want to be a fetish for someone. But it’s different when the other person has it. Recently, a woman at my job came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, I have vitiligo too, and I think it’s so great that you’re rocking short sleeves and everything.’ That felt good! The feeling was mutual. It felt like community, not novelty.

“But then, a different woman came up to me in line in the grocery store and was like, ‘Oh my god, have you seen that model who has what you have? I just wish there were more models that looked like you when I was a kid, because I had a friend with what you have.’ I mean, what I have is called vitiligo. It felt like she was trying to express how cool she was with it, when actually, why shouldn’t you be cool with it?

“Vitiligo doesn’t make me who I am; my experiences in life have done that. But I’ve embraced it — there’s nothing that I can or should do about it. I don’t have to explain myself or apologize. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Amada
“My freckles made me really different when I was growing up. Sometimes kids would make fun of me, or point them out, or question me. My mom has similar freckles, and I know she struggled a lot with it too, in Mexico. But New Yorkers, I think, have seen a lot more different kinds of people. So now, people tend to be a lot more accepting, and will want to talk, and compliment me on them.

“That said, it hurts when I read people saying things like, ‘I love all my flaws, even my freckles.’ I don’t find my freckles to be a flaw; I like to play them up. There’s plenty of makeup marketed to ‘Even out your skin tone!’ Why would I want to do that? They’re such a great part of me.

“In my case, I guess beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. But I’ve finally realized the only beholder that matters is myself.”
Jennifer
“I had open-heart surgery when I was a baby, and have had a scar on my chest ever since. I’ve never worn a top like this before. Putting it on and looking in the mirror today, I got kind of emotional. I always knew the scar was there, but I wasn’t ready for other people to see it.

“It’s funny how something so small can affect how you see yourself in such a big way. Now, I’m proud of my scar. It makes me feel like a warrior. If I can make it through something like open-heart surgery, no words or strange looks from other people can stop me. I’m used to hiding, but this has been so liberating. I feel so free, and so completely like me.”