A World Of Spots

Most of my life I was lucky enough to have a carmel complexion throughout my entire body. It was four Autumns ago; where I was diagnosed with a ‘rare’ skin disorder.
I started getting lighter pigment all over my arms, wrists, thighs and lips.
I have Vitiligo.
And it took me up until summer of 2015, to accept the fact that there is nothing that anyone can do. It has now affected about 30% of my body within just 4 years.
But.
This is me. This is who I am.
I was so afraid… With this mutating my outer appearance,would it change the type of person that I am?
It did.
But not in the bad way I was expecting. It has taught me to be wise with my boundaries,given me strength,perseverance and most importantly…. love. With all of these life lessons,it has developed me into the type of person that I want to become.

I subconsciously started a book about four years ago. A documentation of a girl, who morphed into a bad ass woman. Because she had no other option. My world was seriously caving in, and there was no way that I was about to give up.
I entitled my project: Gotta Have Tough Skin,because years ago… before this diagnosis, i bumped my baby teeth that knocked my ingrowing adult teeth. I had yellow stains on my two front teeth; all through elementary, middle and high school. My grandmother Regina told me when i was about twelve that “people are going to judge you… no matter what. Gotta have tough skin, shrug em off.”
After I was diagnosed with Vitiligo in 2011, my grandmother reminded me of her wise words… “aww Jazzy, this is a blessing in disguise. Remember gotta have tough skin.”Within four weeks, she passed away. I was depressed. So,when I became negative with myself… i started taking pictures and writing about my depressed feelings. I couldn’t stop engaging myself with this project.
That Spring of 2012, i did my final digital photography project on what has happened to my skin… small spots, here and there. But now that a few years have gone under my belt, i begin to feel better about me and my environment. People don’t understand what I have… some just stare at me, like I’m a freak… others gawk at my beauty. It’s never something in between… 

Why not educate our world through my personal project… When i have finished my perspective, I’ll take the spot light off of myself and put it on someone else’s unique beautiful body. My vision is to create a photography project of different outer appearance disorders. Imagine the endless road, there is so much to capture.
We all have dreams,but how are you going to get there without waking up, first.

Much love,
Jazz
the.spotted.zelephant