In recent years, there's been an exciting, invigorating, and totally necessary movement in body positivity — and that includes skin conditions. Florida woman Ashley Soto is embracing hers by creating body art using her vitiligo patches, and the results are absolutely amazing.
Vitiligo causes a loss of pigment in patches of skin, and every persons' appears on their body differently. When Soto decided to trace her patches one day, she discovered that it looked pretty incredible. "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," the 21-year-old told The Daily Mail.
From there, she started creating art, like a flower design, a world map, and a mesmerizing recreation of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night painting.
"This was so much fun to do; finding little patterns and seeing that you truly are ART...I encourage everyone with #vitiligo or whatever you might have to find the positive in every situation and not let the negative thoughts cloud your mind," she wrote in her first Instagram post of her traced skin.
"Seeing the different kind of art you can create with what others perceive as 'imperfections' is mind blowing to me. Every time I do #markerchronicles I fall in love more and more with what I was chosen to carry," she wrote in another post.
Through her body art, Soto found a way to finally embrace her skin condition, she shared. She was diagnosed when she was 12, and it spread to the rest of her body within a year.
When she started getting bullied for her condition (someone asked if she "showered in bleach" at the beach), Soto started covering herself up in long-sleeve shirts and pants. Little by little though, she decided to start showing her skin and became a major advocate for self-love.
Joining the likes of stunning model Winnie Harlow, who also has vitiligo, Soto is sending the message that the skin condition isn't something you need to hide. Because people aren't beautiful in spite of their differences. People are beautiful because of their differences — and that goes for everyone.
But seriously — look how stunning.