I Am Not This Skin
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Indie Arie, I couldn’t have said this any better myself:

“I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within.”

Meet Rebecca Brown, 21 from Essex.

I Am Not My Skin Cover

Aged 12 Rebecca was diagnosed with Trichotillomania, (an extremely rare) condition which causes her to pull the hair out of her head when she feels anxious; by the time she hit 16 she was practically bald. On top of this, Becca also suffers from dermotillomania, which causes her to obsessively pick at her own skin.

Starting in 2007, for 6 ½ years, Rebecca worked on what I like to call a‘awe-inspiring’photo project consisting of a collection of selfies which tell a heart pulling story of how her disorder affected her life over the years.

In a 4 minute, 3 second YouTube video her eyes remain fixated as you watch her surroundings and hairstyles change in a time lapse, with the occasional annotation popping out of no man’s land, coinciding with the images.


It’s hard not to question ‘What the heck do I have to complain about?’, Becca is a living testament of these exact words by Arie:

“Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
 Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend?
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
I am expressing my creativity…”

Despite the odds, Rebecca shows that life is a choice. A choice that not even the thought of suicide or depression could take away from her. Looking at Becca, past the skin, past the hair and past the plethora of her life events, you just see well, a human being.

Not just any ordinary human being.

A human being who falls in love, then gets her heart broken, studies and still fails, feels socially awkward at times, and so finds a sense of comfort behind a computer screen, has a caring family yet  still feels alone, has a YouTube following of over 149,000 and probably still has insecurities about whether she’s good enough. Is this what makes her special? No. What makes her special, is the fact that she is an ordinary human being, who turned unfortunate circumstances into an EXTRAordinaryopportunity.

Now a successful blogger, without even probably realising Becca reminds us that in our little ordinary state, with our ordinary skin and ordinary hair…we still have the power to be EXTRAordinary…now isn’t that something?

I Am Not My Skin Feature ready

Photo’s by Rebecca Brown

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