This series of portraits features Xueli who is 14 years old and was born with Albinsim in China (Xuchang). Albinism is an inherited genetic condition that occurs in all racial and ethnic groups that reduces the amount of melanin pigment formed in the skin, hair and/or eyes. Xueli is visually impaired and only has 10% eyesight and her eyes are extremely sensitive to light.
At 8 months old Xueli was brought to an orphanage, most probably due to her Albinism and at three years old she was adopted and now lives in the Netherlands with her adoptive mother, she is extremely sporty practising VI Judo at a national level, and triathlon at national Paralympic level.
In China its widely believed Albinism brings bad luck to the family, so many babies with albinism are given up to orphanages, in other countries Albinism is still not accepted with many children considered to be in danger. As Xueli has come to learn this she has felt driven to raise awareness on Albinsim through modelling, donating her fee’s too organisations trying to end violence against people with albinism.
It is Xueli’s ambition to one day have her image on a billboard in Beijing, as a sign of change and acceptance of people with Albinism. She wants the Chinese people to see her as an ordinary Chinese girl and her birth parents to be proud of who she is, just the way she is.