beauty

These raw, uncensored photos show the reality behind weight loss surgery.

In a world where there seems to be a photograph of a physically flawless woman everywhere you look, the journey to self acceptance can be a long and tumultuous one.

But for photographer Samantha Geballe, learning to accept her body was made particularly difficult when she had gastric bypass surgery in 2014. “I had no idea what I looked like,” she says of the months after the procedure.

“For some time after, I couldn’t manage my thoughts around my body. I didn’t recognise the person reflected before me.”

She was “two adults smaller” after the surgery, but what resulted was a sense of alienation. She felt intensely disconnected from her own body.

Samantha the day after her surgery. Image via Samantha Geballe Photography.

Geballe started photographing herself a year before her surgery, and has continued the project in the years since. The result is a fascinating and rare insight into the realities of weight loss surgery, and the physical and emotional implications.

"It became a way of being kind to myself," she told Refinery 29"I continue to photograph myself now because I need to see. I need to see myself. I want to understand and accept myself."

"It became a way of being kind to myself." Image via Samantha Geballe Photography.
ADVERTISEMENT

Ultimately, Geballe's photos tell a story that is seldom told. They show the raw emotion and the unexpected realities of weight loss surgery, and attempt to form a connection with the viewer that goes far beyond the superficial.

"At the end of the day, our lives may look nothing alike, but maybe we’ve shared similar feelings," she says.

In one particular photo, Geballe shares what she calls "a glimpse into what I would’ve looked like if I had grown up an average weight."

"My body and gravity is fascinating to me." Image via Samantha Geballe Photography.

What's compelling is that Geballe doesn't view this image, or any of her others, with judgement. She's simply fascinated by her body, and is dedicated to accepting it, no matter what it looks like.

"My body and gravity is fascinating to me," she says.

"My skin pools and pulls from me. There are times that it seems like it’s running away. I have come to love my skin. It is part of my story, and at least for today, it’s here to stay."

ADVERTISEMENT

Scroll through the photos below for more from Samantha Geballe's collection. 

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

You can visit Samantha's website here, or follow her on Facebook here

00:00 / ???