While Instagram can all too often be the source of damaging self-comparison, with its steady output of mannequin-standard skin, and cheekbones that could cut, it is also the breeding ground for some seriously inclusive and accepting attitudes.
The latest source of the latter is photographer Elisabeth van Alderen’s Instagram with her latest photo series.
Aptly named ‘Shades of Pale’, the project visually documents women with vitiligo, a skin condition characterised by patches of skin losing their pigment and becoming very pale.
The photo series is a celebration of the individuality of women with the skin condition and exists to reinterpret their skin as "beautifully painted canvas'".
The inspiration for the project came from Elisabeth’s own experience with vitiligo, "Living with it myself for almost 8 years, photography has given me a platform to celebrate it,” she says.
"I want to spread awareness of vitiligo and its beauty - to tell the story of the average woman. The woman who shows her beauty in her own unique way. A woman who embraces her skin. I don’t want people to look at vitiligo as something ‘out of the box’. I believe there is no box, all types of beauty need to be inclusive."
Having photographed and learnt the experiences of women from all around the world, Elisabeth says that the experience has not only been a creative output but has been incredibly therapeutic, “For a lot of women I portrayed, it’s a healing process, time for acceptance. It is so nice that there is a big community out there on social media to connect with all these beautiful individuals."
“For me it was also very special to get up close and personal with someone who had the same struggles as me, and as many young woman all over the world who are trying to fit in. Why should you even want to fit in, if you were born to be unique?”
Photos: Instagram and Supplied