6 People With Skin Conditions Share the Most Hurtful Things Ever Said to Them
Powerful photos that will change the way you think about acne and other skin issues.
It all started when New York City photographer Peter DeVito uploaded closeup photos of himself that revealed the acne on his face.
He captioned the images with body positive phrases such as “stop telling people that they just need to wash their face more or drink more water to have clear skin.” The photos attracted attention, and his Instagram page gained new followers who applauded DeVito's empowering images.
Soon he began getting requests from people with acne and other skin conditions. “I got sent several messages from people with albinism, vitiligo, alopecia, and birthmarks asking me to make work they would be able to relate to,” DeVito tells Health.
DeVito's photos and the message behind them even resonated with celebrities. Earlier this year, Cara Delevingne reposted one of his images with a candid caption about her reluctance to embrace her own insecurities.
DeVito recently began collaborating with @CHNGE, a gender neutral clothing company, on a new powerful campaign. Each post features an individual embracing their skin condition and divulging the most hurtful thing ever said to them about the way they looked.
“Hong long did it take to draw those?” “what’s wrong with your skin?” and “but you’d remove it if you could” are just a few of the comments people in the photo series had to hear.
In nearly every post, users can swipe right to see a message that provides context about that person’s experience. For example, a woman named Amber was once asked, "What's on your face?" In her message, she explained how she took the opportunity to say what her birthmark meant to her—and that what other people think of it "shouldn't matter."
In the campaign, DeVito also shared an emotional tribute to his mother, who has a skin condition called melasma. “Thank you mom for teaching me that I don’t need to be ‘perfect’ and for everything else you do,” he wrote, then educated his followers about what melasma is and how it develops.
DeVito says he will continue to share more of these powerful individual stories. “I think a lot of people can connect to the message I’m trying to put forward,” he says. “What is on the outside is not what defines you.”