NETHERLANDS- A Dutch photographer is challenging mainstream beauty standards after launching a photography project aimed at celebrating vitiligo.
Elisabeth van Aalderen, who developed vitiligo eight years ago, was inspired by her own experience and began to photograph other women with the condition to help them celebrate their skin.
According to the British Skin Foundation, vitiligo is a chronic condition in which areas of skin lose their normal pigment and become very pale as a result.
The series called Shades of Pale visually documents women from all over the world.
Posting on Instagram, Elisabeth explained the inspiration behind the series.
“Vitiligo is such a powerful thing; it makes you stand out, it forces you to embrace your unique beauty. Let’s all celebrate that,” she wrote.
“Literally, we’re saying goodbye to our melanin, but in the bigger sense we’re breaking free from our perception of beauty.”
The photographer added that she wanted to encourage women with vitiligo to feel more confident and also educate those who don’t understand it.
Each photo in the series shows the model in their underwear. Some of the pictures feature their whole body, while others are focused on taking a close-up look at a particular area.
“This project is to help break the boundaries and encourage others to be their most authentic selves,” Elisabeth explained in a recent interview with Glamour.
“Beauty can be whatever you want it to be.”