Nigerian fine art photographer, Chudy Ogobegwu, has exhibited a new project titled Imperfect, to challenge the idea of flawless perfection.
The project features unretouched portraits of 45 young men and women inclusively sharing their stories of struggles with self-acceptance and the journeys they have taken to loving their bodies.
Ogobegwu revealed that the Imperfect project is a protest to the idea of being perfect and to the society’s obsession with flawless perfection (beauty) which causes a lot of stress and feelings of inadequacy.
“Imperfect” is a wakeup call which reminds us that the beauty of an object (or a person) lies in the flaws of that object, Ogobegwu said.
He added that it is a timely reminder to be kind in the ways we speak to and interact with people who look different from society’s unreal definition of ‘beautiful’.
“I’ve battled with acne since 2019. I always felt paranoid around people. It felt like everyone around me was constantly staring at my ‘rough face’,” says a participant, Debrah, whose only goal in life was to find a cure for my acne after losing her self esteem.
Speaking further, she said, “one day, it dawned on me that life was too short to spend so much time caring about something as insignificant as blemishes on my face. People need to know that beauty is more than the outer appearance, and yes I am beautiful inside and out!”
Another participant identified as Jeff also had difficulty growing up with Strabismus, an eye condition also known as Crossed Eyes which is popularly called either half-past one, half-past four or quarter-past four eyes in Nigeria.
“…Everywhere I went … If someone was not calling me “half-past-one eyes” they were calling me “crooked eyes” or something else equally derogatory and that made me feel really sad,” Jeff said.
“But many years after, I’ve grown and come to accept myself for who I am, with all my flaws and imperfections. I realise they are part of who I am. The hurtful words of those days don’t affect me anymore.
“In fact, these days I love the eyes more than any other part of my body because they are very different from everyone else’s,” he added.
Click here to see the beautiful portraits and incredible stories of the 45 participants, including Jeff and Deborah.
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