Half by Julia Kozerski

Issue 35

We all have at least one attribute about ourselves that causes us to be self conscious; something that causes us to feel as if we are not “normal.” For myself and countless others, our weight is a constant source of such insecurity. By the time I had reached the age of 25, I tipped the scales at 338 pounds. With a body mass index (BMI) of 49.9 percent, literally half of my body consisted of fat, and I was classified as “morbidly obese.” Throughout childhood and adolescence, my weight led me through spells of depression caused by associated physical and emotional issues. For so long, I wished nothing more than to physically be someone other than myself believing that doing so would make me happier.

In December 2009 I decided to take charge of my life and embarked upon my own self-directed, healthy-living journey. Through calorie counting, focus on nutrition, portion control, and increased exercise, my efforts have resulted in a loss of over 160 pounds. While I genuinely believed that my hard work and dedication would transform me into that “perfect” person of my dreams, the reality of what has resulted is quite the opposite. My experience contradicts what the media tends to portray. While it is easy to celebrate and appreciate the dramatic physical results of such an endeavor, underneath the layers of clothing and behind closed doors, quite a different reality exists.

These photographs are self-portraits. They serve as reflections of my experience and address and explore my physically and emotionally painful, private struggles with food, obsession, self-control, and self-image. These brutally honest images serve to shed light on the truth of what it is like for me to live life as Half of myself.

Julia Kozerski is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin based photographer.
To view more of Julia's work, please visit her website.

  … or for Worse 

… or for Worse 

  Vestige 

Vestige 

  Surrender 

Surrender 

  Casing No. 1 

Casing No. 1 

  Affront 

Affront 

  Avert 

Avert 

  Own 

Own 

  Bare 

Bare 

  Ruins No. 1 

Ruins No. 1 

  Untitled 

Untitled 

  Whitewash 

Whitewash 

  Casing No. 2 

Casing No. 2 

  Hunger 

Hunger 

  Absolution 

Absolution 

  Ruins No. 2 

Ruins No. 2 

  Lovers Embrace 

Lovers Embrace 

  Casing No. 3 

Casing No. 3 

  Eclipse 

Eclipse 

  Weighing 

Weighing 

  Self

Self