Dear Self

Dear Self is a personal conversation with our inner being. That moment when we have gone through the process of self-acceptance and find ourselves in front of a mirror, admiring the evolution of our identity. It turns out that in most Afro communities, we are not taught to love ourselves and to appreciate our physical traits and character traits for what they are. Just as we are not taught to understand and accept our sexuality either. What we don’t know is that by cultivating self-compassion, letting go of guilt and learning to forgive ourselves, we come to touch happiness, because self-acceptance and happiness work hand in hand. In fact, our level of self-acceptance determines our level of happiness. The more we cultivate it, the more happiness we have in our lives and the more we allow ourselves to accept, receive but also to give. Accepting ourselves also requires that we begin to understand that in the end, we are not really to blame for anything. Whether it’s our appearance, our intelligence or any of our more questionable behaviors. Our actions have all been compelled by some combination of background and biology. By understanding this we also take our share of responsibility for how we treat others. It takes a lot of compassion and forgiveness. This series of photos reflects pride and love for oneself, but also love for others. The freedom to be a black man, fully assuming his part of femininity and masculinity in him – An exclusive The Flow House-story shot by Ussi’n Yala.

Photography: Ussi’n Yala
Art Direction: Marvin Latournald & Ussi’n Yala
Styling: Marvin Latournald
Brands: Homolog, Lazoschmidl, Alexandro Fratelli, Y/Project, Marta Martino, Boramy Viguier, Panneau Blanc, BESFXXK, Arthur Avellano, Andrea Crews, PD Paola
Model: Evan and Edward (Models Lane)
In exclusive for: The Flow House