By Megan Flemmit; Photography courtesy of Instagram
As the body positivity movement grows, it becomes easier for people to accept their skin conditions and turn it into something beautiful.
When she was just 12-years-old, Ash Soto was diagnosed with vitiligo, the skin condition that presents as white patches on the skins surface. What started out as a small spot on the back of her neck, has now spread across her body.
Ash says as the vitiligo spread she began excluding herself from everything she used to love doing. In one of her Instagram posts she writes that she used to avoid going to the beach because she would be stared at.
No, I don’t have the biggest butt or the most skinniest body. I’m in no way perfect in any way. I’d rather say I’m perfectly imperfect. What matters most is what’s on the inside, not on the outside. As a little girl I was always afraid of going to the beach, because I would get pointed at and stared at but I’ve reached a level of having so much love and respect for myself that I can freely walk the beach without being ashamed of my body or my #vitiligo and I couldn’t be more proud of myself 🦋🌤
Ash told aplus.com that watching her skin change was one of the hardest things she’s ever been through. She says she developed anxiety and depression.
While several treatments for the condition exist, there is no known cure.
Now Ash is using her skin condition to promote self-acceptance and self-love. Inspired by the body positivity movement, Soto shared her experiences with her followers on Instagram.
“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,” she writes.
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.)
Since then Ash has used her canvas to create several works of art. Ash started a project called The Marker Chronicles which documents her artwork. She creates these by outlining and painting her vitiligo.
I accidentally deleted this picture while going through my feed, I’m actually so upset right now that I can’t recover it, but this was #markerchronicles part 2 🖊 remember it doesn’t matter what color you are, we’re all the same on the inside, we’re all equal. Don’t let your skin tone define you, it’s who you are on the inside that matters ✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿 Black, white, or whatever skin tone you may have we are ALL BEAUTIFUL 🌎
Ash’s example of self-acceptance is a reminder to all of us that we’re beautiful, flaws and all. When you find yourself struggling to love yourself, remember these words from Ash: “Beauty begins the moment you decide to accept yourself for who you are and what you look like, believe in yourself always and if no one reminded you today, you are beautiful.”
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