This post and these pictures mark an interesting step forward for me after a crazy couple of days of reflection after my first post which I posted into the Buzzfeed community:
As soon as I posted the article I was hit with a wave of relief, all the feedback I have recieved has been overwhelmingly positive and has helped me see that finally opening up about this was a step in the right direction.
When discussing photographing my rash this was not my first rodeo. I have taken countless photos of my rash but these photos had two seperate and very different purposes.
One common photo style being medical photos (basically close-up pictures of my condition at various different stages) to show as proof of what is known as a "flare-up" (which is when the skin is very angry to put in simpler terms) to show to medical professionals at various appointments and to keep a good record of dates that are easy to follow for identifying possible triggers or causes. Those photos were the ones I would usually shamefully delete from my phone at times because I didn't want anyone who wasn't a medical professional or close friend to see them and because I couldn't stand to look at them myself.
The second type of photos, the photos seen to date across my social media sights, my profile pictures, and instagram posts (essentially the virtual version of myself I present to the world) are heavily edited. 95% of the time if there was any signs of my scars showing in pictures I would simply edit them out and blur and relight the photos slightly until I was pleased that you couldn't see any scarring unless you knew to look for it. If I wasn't able to edit the rash or scarring out of the photo it simply would not be posted. Another tactiful method I used was only taking photos from certain angles so you couldn't see it at all. When I reflect on how this has been my mentality for quite sometime it is saddening, and even sadder that I thought that this behaviour was normal because "that's how instagrams are supposed to look". The most upsetting part of it all is that so many other people are probably out there doing this kind of unhealthy stuff too but nobody is really talking about it.
Moving forward these are the new photos, a.k.a. the first time I have taken "instagram worthy" photos without taking what makes me myself out of it. I am happy with how those photos turned out. Changing the perspective and tone of the photos and actually relaxing a little and smiling makes me happy to see these photos of my skin for the first time since I can remember really. I hope I can inspire somebody else out there in a similar situation to also take control of it and own their narrative, I can assure you it is wonderfully freeing.