Celebrities including the late Michael Jackson and model Winnie Harlow have done a lot to shed light on vitiligo, a condition that causes a loss of skin pigment in patches. But those who have it know living with vitiligo is no easy task. Instagram model and artist Ash Soto refuses to let vitiligo stop her — and in fact has started a very inspiring movement.
Soto, who uses the handle @radiantbambi, was diagnosed at age 12. In an interview with A Plus, she said, “I didn’t know how to react because I had no knowledge on what vitiligo was or what would happen to me. I remember my mom sitting there crying and I just sat there confused and scared. I didn’t know how much my life would change from that moment on.”
To cope with her condition, she tapped into her artistic side. In a project she calls The Marker Chronicles (she uses #MarkerChronicles as her hashtag), Soto traces her patches to create some pretty awesome body art, and shares the images on social media.
Soto began uploading the body pics in 2016 to inspire young girls to embrace what makes them unique. “The thought of sharing my whole self on social media was a paralyzingly one. We have all experienced or seen how cruel people can be, especially behind the safety of a keyboard,” Soto said in her interview. “It took me a long time to share my true self. I decided to post when I felt like I was strong enough and mentally able to handle the reaction, whichever way I was meant to receive it.”
And she’s showing no signs of stopping now. “I want to continue to bring awareness to vitiligo and the importance of body positivity. I hope to continue doing what I’m doing now which is inspiring others to accept themselves for who they are,” she said. We hope you keep up the (stunning) good work too Ash!
Inspired by Ash Soto’s story? Share yours @BritandCo!
(Photos via Ash Soto)