Activism

Woman Once Bullied For Vitiligo Now Uses The Unique Markings To Create Amazing Art

This 21-year-old uses her body as a canvas to create beautiful artwork and to reduce the stigma that often accompanies skin conditions.

Credit: Ash Soto

At the age of twelve, Ash Soto was diagnosed with a skin condition called vitiligo. Thought to be an effect of the immune system attacking parts of the body, the autoimmune affliction results in white patches of skin appearing on different parts of the body. As a pre-teen, Ash was often bullied for looking different. It wasn’t until a little girl asked if she had showered in bleach that she really began to feel self-conscious about her appearance.

Once she was a teenager, however, decided enough was enough, and that life is too short to not love oneself. To begin on a path of self-love, Soto began setting herself daily challenges, such as walking in public without a long sleeve shirt. Eventually, those challenges inspired her to turn her body into beautiful art. She told the Daily Mail:

“I never realized how beautiful my vitiligo was until I traced it with a black marker, it really helps to bring out the different colors of my skin.”

Now the 21-year-old feels empowered by her unique skin and uses it as a canvas to create different art pieces, including Van Gogh’s Starry night. Like all activists challenging the status quo, Soto has received criticism for being so open about her body. However, she draws and paints on her figure because it’s what she loves to do, and she’s not about to stop.

“Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before,” she says.

Ash Soto was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 12 years old.

Credit: Ash Soto

The condition results in white patches of skin appearing on different parts of the body.

Credit: Ash Soto

She learned to be self-conscious when a girl asked if she took a shower in bleach…

Credit: Ash Soto

…but eventually decided that she is beautiful, and that life is too short to not love oneself.

Credit: Ash Soto

Soto began challenging herself to be more comfortable in her body.

Credit: Ash Soto

Until one day, she started tracing the outline of white patches on her body.

Credit: Ash Soto

“I never realised 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”

Credit: Ash Soto

Credit: Ash Soto

“I will continue creating different pieces of art with my skin and hope it inspires others in the process.”

Credit: Ash Soto

“Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”

Credit: Ash Soto

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