Albinism is a rare, genetic, lifelong disorder that affects people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds worldwide. It causes the skin, hair, and eyes to produce less melanin, which results in a light color or no color at all. Unfortunately, stigmatization of those with the illness is common, especially in developing nations.
A girl with albinism was born in China about 16 years ago, but her parents decided not to bring her home after noticing her white skin. Sadly, the infant ended up in an orphanage only a few days after her birth.
The orphanage staff, who gave her the name Xueli, which is Chinese for “snow white and beautiful,” felt bad for her because this sounded awful.
When Xueli was 11 years old, a well-known Hong Kong photographer spotted her and requested her to participate in a campaign that featured a variety of individuals, each of whom was attractive in their own way.
In a BBC interview, Xueli Abbing remarked, “She termed the campaign ‘perfect imperfections’ and asked if I wanted to join her fashion show in Hong Kong.”
It was a wonderful experience…
Some persons with albinism have had their fingers, limbs, or legs amputated since it is thought in some cultures that those with the condition have healing qualities in their bones.
Knowing this, Xueli declares that she was fortunate to have been abandoned only.
After her pictures appeared on social media, a London-based photographer took Xueli under her wing and worked to get her on the cover of Vogue Italia magazine’s June 2019 issue.
“At the time, I didn’t know what an important magazine it was and it took me a while to realize why people got so excited about it,” this beauty recalled.
“There are still models who are like eight foot two and skinny but now people with disabilities or differences are featured more in the media and this is great – but it should be normal,” she said in the interview.
“Maybe because I cannot see everything properly I focus more on people’s voices and what they have to say,” she said in an interview. “So their inner beauty is more important to me.”
Xueli is making every effort to increase public understanding of those who are albino.
“I want to use modeling to talk about albinism and say it’s a genetic disorder, it’s not a curse,” she says. “The way to talk about it is to say ‘a person with albinism’ because being ‘an albino’ sounds as if it defines who you are.
“I’m not going to accept that children are being murdered because of their albinism. I want to change the world,” she added.
We are very grateful that there are individuals like this 16-year-old beauty who show us that it is the diversity that gives the planet its stunning variety.
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