Young children’s lives are primarily impacted by their parents. Children depend on their parents to give them the love and protection they need to be content and healthy, as well as to grow and develop properly, from the moment of birth.
Our emotional and physical health may suffer if we are forced to grow up without our parents for whatever reason.
The parents of Xueli Abbing, a 16-year-old girl born in China, abandoned her. She was abandoned at an orphanage door on the assumption that she appeared too “weird.”
The orphanage personnel gave her the name “Xueli” with a very special meaning related to her appearance. Snow white is Xue, and beautiful is Li. There isn’t a name I can think of for this lovely child who was born with albinism.
A genetic disease called albinism causes the skin, hair, and eyes to produce less melanin, which causes them to be light in color or to have no color at all.
She was raised with love and care by a lovely Dutch family who adopted her. She was approached to model for a designer in Hong Kong when she was just 11 years old for a photo session where he wanted to show the various sorts of beauty.
“She called the campaign ‘perfect imperfections’ and asked if I wanted to join her fashion show in Hong Kong,” Abbing said in an interview to the BBC. “That was an amazing experience.”
People who have albinism are subject to stigmatization, prejudice, and discrimination based on both their race and their skin color. They may even be “hunted” in some extreme cases due to the mythical medicinal value of their bones.
“I’m lucky I was only abandoned,” Abbing has said.
Sometimes models with albinism can be used to depict angels or ghosts which Abbing comments that “it makes her sad.”
A lucky star, though, was above Abbing’s head. She did put forth a lot of effort, though.
She was taken under the wing of a London-based photographer who treated her how a model should be treated. She was featured in the June 2019 issue of Vogue Italia thanks to their gorgeous photo session!
“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,” recalls.
“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. “So their inner beauty is more important to me.”
She wants to make a difference in how people view others with albinism. “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 said.
We wish the snow white beauty the very best with her journey ahead! And we do hope she makes a difference about how people view others with albinism.
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