The Inspiring Reason This Woman Turns Her Vitiligo Into Body Art
Remember when Meryl Streep famously told her peers at the Golden Globes how her late friend, actress Carrie Fisher, once advised her to “take your broken heart, make it into art”? Well that’s exactly what one student from Orlando, Florida is doing.
After being bullied for her vitiligo, a rare skin condition that causes loss of pigmentation in skin in patches, 21-year-old Ash Soto decided to embrace her disorder by turning it into art.
“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colours of my skin,” Soto told the Daily Mail, recalling how she would previously try to hide her white spots by wearing long-sleeve tees and pants every day. “Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”
I get stretch marks just like everyone else regardless of if I have a skin condition or not. I go through all the same struggles you all go through that's why I preach self love so much. I don't care if I have to repeat myself in every caption to love who you are regardless if you have tiger stripes, #vitiligo, or whatever the case may be. I'll sound like a broken record each time because at least someone reminded you to appreciate and love yourself unconditionally always 🎨🌎❤
Soto’s body art, which she calls “The Marker Chronicles,” includes maps, nature scenes and even Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting, and is meant to prove “we are all art.” She tells aplus.com the project has “been a way to show that what others might perceive as your flaws are actually what makes you beautiful and sets you apart from the rest.”
Soto first revealed her vitiligo to the world in May 2016, sharing a photo of herself, uncovered, for the first time. “They say your body is a canvas, I’m just painted differently. Finally at a point in my life where I can say I love the skin I’m in,” she captioned the image.
They say your body is a canvas, I'm just painted differently. Finally at a point in my life where I can say I love the skin I'm in. It's a learning experience each day but I'm getting there. If it wasn't for @sincerelyjuju I probably wouldn't have the guts to post this, so ty angel 💘 I hope this post inspires all girls to be comfortable with themselves and their bodies because everyone is beautiful and unique. You may not see it, but trust me you're special. We need more self love now a days. Accept yourself and everything else will fall into place 🌹✨ (yes, it's vitiligo and any negativity will get you blocked.)
“The thought of sharing my whole self on social media was a paralyzing one. We have all experienced or seen how cruel people can be, especially behind the safety of a keyboard,” Soto told aplus.com. “It took me a long time to share my true self. I decided to post when I felt like I was strong enough and mentally able to handle the reaction, whichever way I was meant to receive it.”
But after the positive response she received, she went on to post more images of her bare skin. She hopes that by continuing to create different pieces of body art, it will inspire others to be accepting of themselves.
“The only person that has to accept you and love you is you. The standards of beauty in our society are unattainable to most of us. These standards should not be your goal, but instead the acceptance of the things that make you imperfect should be your main focus. Self love is the best love always remember that,” she says.
Check out more of Ash’s incredible works of body art below.
Thinking about starting my own YouTube channel so I can connect with you angels on a different level. I try to put myself out there for you all in all my captions and I think this would be a great way for you to get to know me and actually hearing my words would get through to you more. What do you think? ⚡️🕊🌹🌈
Marker chronicles pt 3 ⛓ Someone suggested I try using a metallic marker and it wasn't as effective as a dark one but still love it so much, also alot of you have been sending me pictures of your version of the marker chronicles and if you end up doing it please tag me in your pictures, I wanna see what kind of art you create 🖌choker – @xavthelabel plus you can get 25% off for cyber monday with the code 'bambi' :-) #vitiligo 🥀