Michelle Sank: In My Skin
Michelle has been living and working in the UK since 1987. Her photographs have been exhibited and published extensively in England, Europe, Australia and Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A. In 2007 she was one of the winners in the National Portrait Gallery’s Photographic Prize in London and in 2010 she was the Single Image Winner in the International Photographic Award, the British Journal of Photography and in 2012 a Single Image winner in Lens Culture International Photographic Awards. Her work is widely published and collected into many significant collections around the world.
Michelle has three published books: The Water’s Edge: Women on the Waterfront (Published by Liverpool University Press, 2007) – a study of women who worked and still work on Liverpool’s Docks, Becoming (Published by Belfast Exposed Photography and Ffotogallery, 2006) – a major monograph featuring her portraits of young people taken over five years, and The Submerged published by Schilt Publishing, 2011.
In My Skin is about young people under 25 in the UK who are challenging their body image. I am looking at those who have had or are considering having cosmetic surgery in order to become more acceptable to themselves and achieve their ideal of being ‘beautiful’. Social consensus in Western society today is particularly focused on physical beauty and achieving and maintaining the “perfect” face and body. 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.