Models With Skin Conditions Respond To Mean Comments In This Empowering Photo Shoot

"We need more models with diverse skin."

In January 2018, photographer Peter "PJ" DeVito's Acne is Normal photo series went viral. His intention behind the series was to normalize the skin condition and to show that natural skin is beautiful in its unfiltered, un-retouched state. Since then, The Fashion Institute of Technology student has continued to photograph skin in all its stunning forms to celebrate individuality. 

Recently, he's come out with another series featuring models with a variety of skin conditions, from albinism, to vitiligo, to alopecia, birthmarks, and other genetic conditions.  Similar to his Acne is Normal series, he photographs his subjects' skin in close-up portraits with a comment printed on their cheeks. 

Alongside each photo, the model also writes how they have learned to love their skin and find empowerment from within.

"My objective with this project was to empower more people and to help normalize skin conditions," the photographer told Teen Vogue. "I looked on Instagram for models, but I also reached out to agencies, and asked my friends if they knew anyone that would be interested in being a part of the project."

DeVito explained to A Plus via email that he made the decision to include essays from the models because he likes giving them a platform to voice their thoughts and opinions. He revealed that the process is different for each model. "Some of them came with their paragraphs pre-written, others wrote them on the spot before and after I photographed them," he stated. 

"All of the models were very open about their experiences."

Model Amy Deanna, who is COVERGIRL's first model with vitiligo, (pictured above) appears in the series with "No one will marry you for your skin" written on her cheek. She wrote in her essay, "If I never get married because of my vitiligo, I'm OK with that. Having vitiligo has taught me so much about myself and what 'beauty' actually is." 

"I love myself despite vitiligo and if you can't then you don't deserve me. I will never apologize for being me."

Model Bice (above) appears in the series with "Why are you bald?" written on his cheek. 

He begins his essay, "First of all, it's rude to ask anyone why they look a certain way. The reason I'm bald has nothing to do with who I am as a person."

"Why are you bald, you ask? Let me ask you this: Who raised you with zero manners? I have a genetic disorder."

DeVito told A Plus that he hopes people become more inclusive and accepting of different skin conditions after viewing the photo series. "I hope that doing this project will make people realize that we need more models with diverse skin," he wrote. "The more models people see with different complexions, the more normal skin conditions will become."

(H/T: Allure)

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