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Brave Dubai Residents Share Their Deepest Insecurities For This Moving Photography Campaign

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‘Rock Your Ugly’ sends an important message. But could you dare to bare your deepest insecurities?

In a new photography series created by Waleed Shah, a Dubai-based photographer, residents are brutally honest, revealing mental health issues, body insecurities and, in some cases, both.

Shah started the project as a coping mechanism to grief. He describes ‘rock your ugly’ as ‘group therapy’… in which he photographed each subject and documented their journey, ‘I would listen to someone else’s pain and share mine.’

The honesty behind each portrait shines a light on how deeply we are affected by our insecurities… and how brave these residents are to share theirs

See the full photo gallery here.

“If you get a nose job, you would look much better”

Read Maha’s full story here

“I have scoliosis and I wear backless dresses now”

Read Laura’s full story here

“When I look in the mirror I see a beautiful, confident, sexy man”

Read Tac’s full story here

“When I was 11 months old I fell off the bed and my arm was resting in between the spaces of the winter heater”

Read Lotus’ full story here

“Let’s rock this, bellies and all”

Read Danae’s full story here

“I’ve Learned How To Perfect The Art Of Throwing Up After Meals, I wear a size 1”

Read Myrna’s full story here

The reflective self-portrait that originally ignited the idea by photographer Waleed Shah in 2018

View this post on Instagram

Today's my birthday and I though I'd address something that's been bothering me about myself. Lets rewind a number of years. Back in high school I was sportsman of the year for 4 years in a row. I was on the football, basketball, cross country, softball and swimming teams. Outside of school I was 4th in the UAE’s under 16 tennis rankings. But now, this is what my body looks like. Fast forward to college, I had a body builder’s body. Doing the “Mass Gain” routines, downing 1000+ calorie protein shakes, eating 6 eggs for breakfast and a meal every 3 hours. But now, this is what my body looks like. You know they used to call me the bouncer when we went clubs. I used to wear tight shirts to show of the pecks and guns so when some sleaze ball tries to mess with any of the girls that were with us all I had to do was stand tall and give him the “look”. But now, this is what my body looks like. What happened? Well, I can blame a number of external factors. The most obvious one would be my herniated disk. I popped it in 2010 while working out. I was out of commission for about a year and would be in pain every time I tried to get back to the gym. I tried a whole bunch of other activities nothing ever stuck. I could also blame starting a business. That took a hell of a lot of time out of my day. But lets be frank, we’ve all the seen the motivational videos of someone severely injured climbing mountains and setting world records. We’ve all read the articles about the most successful people in the world taking care of their bodies first. So really, there’s no one to blame but me. This is what my body looked like on January 6th 2017. I turn 31 today and I haven't done anything about it. I now have a broken arm that will take another 6-9 months to fully heal. I think I'll skip this year and touch base with my body in 2019. Happy birthday to me….

A post shared by ‎وليد شاه | Waleed Shah (@waleedshah) on


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