Photographer Brock Elbank has photographed 30 adults and children with the rare birthmark disorder Congenital Melanocytic Naevus for his new exhibition, How Do You C Me Now?
From Jameela Jamil’s #I_Weigh campaign, to model Maya Spencer-Berkeley raising awareness of the rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, the number of body positivity influencers is happily on the rise.
On Wednesday 13th March, world-renowned photographer Brock Elbank is bringing How Do You C Me Now?, his series of portraits of 30 women, men and children who have the rare and untreatable birthmark disorder called Congenital Melanocytic Naevus (CMN) to the gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf.
How Do You C Me Now?, which has been organised by the CMN support group Caring Matters Now, will run for two weeks in London, before it goes on a worldwide tour. One of the subjects of the portraits, Yulianna Yussef, now inspires a huge audience through her Instagram. With her 95,000 followers, Yulianna shares her daily life as someone with CMN, using the hashtag #bareyourbirthmark.
Yulianna was previously bullied because of her birthmarks, and uses her Instagram as a way to inspire body positivity, as well as dispel any myths or untruths about the condition.
She told Marie Claire, ‘I couldn’t even find the right words to describe how happy and grateful I am to Caring Matters Now for this exhibition… [the exhibition] is so important to everyone who has the CMN: it shows you how beautiful you are, how confident you could be and how strong and powerful each one of us is.’
Photographer Brock Elbank, whose previous exhibitions have featured people with vitiligo and people with freckles, counts diversity as a key component of his work. He added that How Do You C Me Now? is ‘about raising positive awareness for CMN, the charity and the people with the condition and their families as well as educating the general public that to date haven’t seen the condition.’
As well as causing birthmarks, CMN can also lead to neurological complications in children, as well as increasing the risk of malignant melanoma for some people. Caring Matters Now was established by current CEO Jodi Whitehouse, who was an 17-year-old patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital with extensive CMN when she established the charity in 1998.