Young Woman With Vitiligo Is Turning Insecurities Into Breath-Taking Body Art
A young woman with vitiligo is turning insecurities into breath-taking body art is simply inspiring.
Ashley Soto, 21, was diagnosed with vitiligo, a condition that causes the skin to lose pigmentation, leading to the spread of unpredictable white spots, at the age of 12. From there she experienced a rapid loss of skin pigmentation resulting to 75 percent of her body to now be covered in vitiligo.
Sotto recalls one summer beach day, in an interview with DailyMail, where she was asked by another little girl if she had been “showered in bleach”, after being seen in her bikini. She tells the online magazine, “I was so shocked that someone said that to me that I cried and cried. I didn’t want to have the condition anymore,”
After that encounter on the beach, she went to great lengths to cover her white spots, wearing only long sleeve shirts and pants. Sotto shares more with DailyMail, “It made me want to start hiding away from people and left me covering my skin, as I didn’t want people to make fun of me.”
Dealing with vitiligo at a young age can cause a lot of emotional stress on young teens. At a time when the body is maturing and hormones are shooting through the body, a recurring nightmare for most adolescents is being different from their peers.
Once the shock of having this skin condition wore off, and being in her late teens, Sotto wanted to find a way to embrace who she was and finally feel comfortable in her skin. One night this desire for self-acceptance lead her to outline her vitiligo patches with a marker. “I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker,” she said. “It really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin.”
When she looked in a mirror she realized that all of the outlines looked like a map. “From there, I decided to start painting actual pieces — I did a flower one and after that, I had a world map,” she told DailyMail.
This newly found self-love she found through the arts transferred into her everyday life too. Sotto would set daily challenges for herself by slowly changing her wardrobe choices from clothes that hid her vitiligo to feeling comfortable wearing clothes that showcased her vitiligo.
Sotto added: “I will continue creating different pieces of art with my skin and hope it inspires others in the process. Soon I will be doing some glow in the dark markings which will be a real challenge but it’s very exciting. Thanks to doing this I’ve learned to accept myself more than I did before.”