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15 Portraits That Capture The Natural Beauty Of Redheads Of Color

"I hope that each and every subject I've photographed will be seen as beautiful individuals."

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London-based photographer Michelle Marshall has captured a stunning series of portraits that shatter our perceptions of identity, beauty, and race.

Titled MC1R, the project is named after the MC1R gene, which is involved in regulating the color of our skin and hair.

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It's Michelle's hope that these portraits will challenge our ideas of conventional beauty and make us question the relationship between race and skin color.

"As nuances are becoming so subtle, the notion of belonging to either a black or a white community, or both, becomes difficult to establish. It's confusing to identify with one or another–just as it becomes difficult to embrace those blurred lines."

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"With their striking and beautiful features, each and every one of the persons I have photographed to date are challenging the parameters of race and identity and the very idea that skin color informs one’s heritage and provenance."

"We all know that being different comes with challenges. The initial seduction of an unusual quirk in a photograph, more often than not, in the context of daily life will quickly shift to being perceived as exotic..."

"Some of us may wish they had red hair or freckles, but just think how much any of us can freak out at the sight of a few unwanted pimples."

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"The series is a comment on societal parameters that have been set and engrained in our collective psyche, but clearly need updating."

"I see each portrait as a series of distraction-free frames charged with an authenticity of features, traits, mannerism, quirks and worth."

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"On a personal level, I am curious. Curious about myself and by extension about others. Portrait photography allows me to study what I like and what I see in others that may be overlooked."

"I hope that each and every subject I've photographed will be seen as beautiful individuals, and that people will also understand that beauty isn’t that straightforward."

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