Chances are, you've never met someone with albinism — an inherited genetic condition that causes a reduction of the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair, and/or eyes. After all, there are fewer than 20,000 people diagnosed per year in the United States. Because it is so rare, there is misinformation spread, and people with albinism often face hurtful stigmas and even violence in many parts of the world. But one woman named Yulia Taits is on a mission to change those perceptions and show the true beauty of those with albinism in a photo series she titled Porcelain Beauty.
The Israel-based photographer told A Plus via email that the project was something she always wanted to do, "I always knew that one day I [would do] this project with different albino people, kids and adults, males and females."
Instead of models, she chose to showcase real people with the condition, so she posted a request on a private albinism Facebook group asking for participants.
She explained that the goal of the project was to show the beauty of people with the rare condition.
Taits highlighted her subjects' natural beauty using only white tones in the photos, and decided against using Photoshop. On her Facebook page, she explained that this resulted in naturally beautiful images. "This series was an amazing experience for me because I could create this beautiful photography without Photoshop. What transpired was pure natural beauty."
"I’m excited to prove that white is not just one color! It has many tints, shades, and beautiful tones."
The series is resonating with people from all walks of life. People with albinism and those who have relatives with the conditions are also thanking Taits for her series. One person wrote on her Facebook page, "These are beautiful ... as a photographer and mom of a son with albinism ... these images moved me to tears!"
The Porcelain Beauty photos are going viral shortly after the first-ever albinism beauty pageant was held in Kenya. Both events are helping to get rid of the negative stigmas surrounding the condition, and help us see these people's inner and outer beauty.