At age 12, Ash Soto was diagnosed with a rare skin condition called vitiligo which causes the loss of skin color in random blotches. The vitiligo continued to spread and as anybody with half a heart could imagine it was incredibly traumatic and it left little Ash feeling insecure and even ashamed. To make matters worse, children began picking on Ash for her skin complexion, one girl even went as far as to ask if she showered in bleach! Embarrassed, she then decided to hide her skin in public by wearing long clothing that covered her skin condition.
But thankfully, as Ash entered her late teens, she decided that she would no longer be a prisoner of her own natural condition. She challenged herself to start exposing her patchy skin in public in small ways. The world would learn to accept her or to hell with them. So in baby steps Ash began taking strolls in public without long sleeve shirts. But then she continued to experiment a bit further, and eventually, the challenges led to Ash transforming her body into amazing 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,” Ash explained. Now, she has taken full advantage of her own unique appearance and created artwork ranging from Van Gogh’s Starry Night, to a world map, and more. “Now what others would perceive as an imperfection I have made into something more beautiful and made it more accepted than before.”