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    This Woman With Vitiligo Highlights Her Spots To Match Her Outfit, And People Love How She Embraces Her Beauty

    Internet, meet 28-year-old Amara Aleman, a creator who's gained massive attention online for highlighting her vitiligo with designs. "I hope to continue sharing this art form in spaces that will help change the narrative around what is beautiful," she told BuzzFeed.

    The first time I came across Amara Aleman, she lifted her hands to show off newly painted daisies on each nail, which perfectly complemented the rainbow design flourishing around vitiligo patches on her arm. "ArtSpots," she calls them. "[They're] an outlet for me to create."

    If she hasn't popped up on your TikTok For You Page yet, let me introduce you. Amara is an online creator whose makeup, story time, and Get Ready with Me–style videos garner tens of thousands to millions of views. However, setting her apart from the average clip, her videos center on different makeup looks that highlight both her face and vitiligo — a condition caused by a lack of melanin in the skin, which results in white patches commonly found on the hands, face, and neck.

    According to National Health Services, vitiligo occurs when there is a lack of working melanocytes — skin cells that give off pigment — and this can be caused by autoimmune diseases or chemicals released from nerves in the skin. 

    Amara usually matches the ArtSpots to her outfit, opting for complementing colors that turn her vitiligo into an eye-catching feature.

    She's done pink with purple:

    Enchanting shades of green:

    Intricate whites:

    Contrasting mixes:

    Flowers:

    Flowers and lines of several different colors run up her arm and around her vitiligo spots

    And even more detail-oriented designs:

    People can't get enough.

    A comment saying Amara is beautiful and the paint looks really cool

    On top of praise Amara gains for her creativity, those who have or know someone who has vitiligo also find inspiration in her determination to not only wholly accept but amplify her condition.

    A commenter saying they showed Amara's video to their brother who has vitiligo, and he has become more happy with his appearance

    However, after speaking with Amara, I learned that this was not always so easy. After discovering a few white patches on her palms in 2017, which soon spread up her forearms, Amara remembers feeling "devastated" upon receiving a diagnosis. "I was working as a dancer performing in theater...and completely stopped dancing," she told BuzzFeed. "I didn’t know anyone else with vitiligo in my life, and I didn’t think my friends or family would understand."

    "I spent the next year hiding away from everyone," she continued. "I rarely left the house, and when I did, I was covered up head to toe and either [wore] long clothing or camouflage and makeup. 

    There was so much uncertainty that I wasn’t ready for. I didn’t know if the condition would keep spreading...and it wasn’t something I was ready to face, so I spiraled into a pretty deep depression and anxiety."

    Similar to her followers who have family members with vitiligo, Amara was able to lean on her loved ones for support. "My parents were the first step in me coming to terms with the condition, because they never treated me any differently and always encouraged me to try to see the positive in it," she said. "So with their advice, I started going out a bit more and seeing friends again."

    While out, Amara reconnected with an old friend who would become her now boyfriend, and she credits that relationship as a safe space through which she was able to explore her new self.  

    "[The relationship] really allowed me to tap into my creativity from a much more loving and accepted place," she said. 

    A commenter saying "you're beautiful and this is so dope"

    From there, using her skin as an outlet for creativity came easily. "I’ve always been really creative, so the idea to create art with my skin kind of came naturally, but once I saw the reception online and read the comments [about] how positively it was affecting those with the condition, the ideas really flourished," she said. "The main inspiration behind what initially sparked ArtSpots is the idea of taking lemons and making lemonade. Life will continue to be unpredictable and it will defeat you if you’re not able to adapt and see beauty in imperfections or differences."

    Now, sharing her ArtSpots has become a source of comfort for both Amara and viewers. "I share these looks because it’s a therapy for me, it’s an outlet for me to create, and I really do enjoy doing it," she said. "But I also share them for anyone who stumbles upon it and may not be in a place where they love their skin. I hope that ArtSpots encourages anyone watching to challenge themselves and their ideas of beauty."

    "As a performer and creator, I hope to continue sharing this art form in spaces that will help change the narrative around what is beautiful," she said.

    "Whenever I get a comment from someone who has vitiligo or knows someone with the condition saying that they’re inspired by my art, it’s almost surreal," Amara said. "I remember how hard it was for me to accept my skin enough to celebrate it, but I realize every time I get a comment like this why it’s so important for me to continue."

    "Whether or not my platform continues to grow, I feel so accomplished already knowing that I might have helped even a handful of people to recognize the beauty in vitiligo. Representing the community and continuing to spread awareness and knowledge of the condition to reduce the stigma and ignorance around it truly inspires me on a daily basis."

    If you'd like to keep up with Amara, you can follow her on TikTok and Instagram.