Ash Soto was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 12. She began to feel ashamed as her vitiligo started spreading. She felt awkward when a little girl asked her if she was showered in bleach. Now 21-year-old embraces her skin despite of feeling ashamed.
In her teenage Soto decided that she won’t let her skin hold her back anymore, so she started setting new challenges like walking on street with sleeveless shirts. Eventually the challenges led Soto turning her body into a beautiful 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 colors of my skin,” Soto said to Daily Mail.
Now she has made her body look like so many different pieces of art including Van Gogh’s Starry Night. “Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”
Vitiligo is a rarest skin disease which causes pigment loss, leaving large white patches all over body. Doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes vitiligo, but think it may be an autoimmune disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. Autoimmune diseases happen when someone’s immune system attacks parts of their body.
Don't let stupid little things like people's opinion or judgement break your confidence. Let that inner fire shine through. No one can burn it out if you don't let it. Smile because you believe you are beautiful. Smile because you are worthy. Smile because this is your happy body and no one can tell you differently, I'm spotted and proud about it 💙
There are some treatment to cure these pigments but they are not much effective, according to NIH.
Soto has become an outspoken advocate for people with vitiligo and has been posting beautiful photos of her skin to Instagram. In one post, she turned her body into an actual work of art.
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? ⚡️🕊🌹🌈
Here are some more Instagram posts:
Tried something different this time and I absolutely fell in love 🏁 seeing the different kind of art you can create with what others perceive as "imperfections" is mind blowing to me. Everytime I do #markerchronicles I fall in love more and more with what I was chosen to carry. It isn't about being black or white because we're all human, we all feel the same emotions within and we all carry hearts that's what makes us the same.
It's crazy what years difference can make, right picture was before I had vitiligo – always with a smile on my face and joking around, I was super outgoing. Bottom right is when my vitiligo first started spreading and that's when the jokes started which caused me to never wear shorts or short sleeves again. I've been called cow, I even was once told I had Michael Jackson syndrome. How can an innocent girl trying to find herself take that? Both pictures on the left represent confidence, making something negative into a positive. When life gives you lemons what do you do? Make the best of it. No, I wasn't born with it, I grew into it which was the hardest thing I've ever been through. But now I look back and I'm happy that I went through it because I wouldn't be as strong as I am today 💪🏻 #selflove #vitiligo #bodypositivity 💫
I'll always keep reminding you that you are beautiful I'll keep telling you every chance I get because I remember always needing that person to push me and to encourage me to keep fighting for self love and I want to be that person for all of you. I don't post just to post, I want you angels to benefit from the content I put out, to learn something. To realize that you are a canvas that's ready to be painted beautifully. Don't ever give up ❣️You are what makes me continue to do what I'm doing and I'm forever appreciative for you, none of your comments go unnoticed. I love you guys immensely.
She has traced her skin patterns in several different colored markers and painted other designs on her skin, too.
“This 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,” she told.