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Woman diagnosed with vitiligo turned patches into art

At age 12 she was diagnosed with vitiligo, a condition that turns Patches of the Skin white. She was bullied throughout her teens, as vitiligo quickly covered 75% of her body in spots and patches.

Woman diagnosed with vitiligo turned patches into art


She began to hide her skin underneath long sleeves and jeans to avoid being made fun of.
‘Within a year it had spread to every region of my body, especially my legs which was super noticeable,’ said Ashley.
‘Vitiligo appeared aggressively everywhere, my legs, feet, arms, chest and face and the patches range in size, from little ones to big ones
‘Around 80% of my legs are without pigment, I have maybe half-way up my knee, then you can see some of my original skin colour on my back it goes half way up so it ranges in size.
Woman diagnosed with vitiligo turned patches into art
(Picture: Ashley Soto/Caters News)
‘Once while in a two-piece bathing costume, a little girl asked me if I’d taken a shower in bleach.
‘I was so shocked that someone said that to me that I cried and cried, I didn’t want to have the condition any more.
‘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.’
But recently, Ashley has found a way to work towards loving her body: turning the patches on her skin into art.
So far she’s turned the natural patterns of her skin into a world map, flowers, and even Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.
Woman diagnosed with vitiligo turned patches into art
(Picture: Ashley Soto/Caters News)
Each design can take around three hours to paint, as Ashley has to outline each melanin-free area on her body.
Ashley says the process is helping her to appreciate the beauty of her skin.
‘I never realised how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker,’ she said. ‘It really helps to bring out the different colours of my skin.
‘I discovered after drawing around my white patches my skin looked like a map, which I thought was really awesome.
‘From there, I decided to start painting actual pieces – I did a flower one and after that I had a world map.
‘Showing my skin has made me feel more empowered, I love myself now but there are always days where you’re not 100% there.
‘I was always trying to find a way to look at my skin in a positive light, I couldn’t do that before starting this.
‘Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.’
The painting process has made Ashley more comfortable with showing her skin to the world.
‘I started accepting myself a little more each day by setting challenges to go outside without a sweater and it progressed from there,’ she explains.
‘Before I was on a road to self-destruction and knew I didn’t want to hideaway anymore, you have one life and so you have to live it as beautifully as possible.
Writer: Ellen Scott for Metro.co.uk


This post first appeared on Grabey | Weird News, Funny News, Strange News, Anything, please read the originial post: here

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