Crystal Alexis living with Vitiligo

It’s not the color of our skin that makes us different, it’s the color of our thoughts
— Steven Aitchison
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When I was diagnosed with vitiligo in 2013, I was devastated! I felt like I was being cursed because things just KEPT happening to me. I prayed and I prayed for God to take it away or at least not let it show up on my face... But it did. Once again devastation set in because all these years I had been encouraging children and empowering women to be true to themselves and 'love the skin you're in' and yet I hated my own.

My markings continued to spread. I covered it with makeup every day until I realized that eventually it was too much (and too messy) to cover. It took sum soul-searching and a few complements from others lol, but I finally got to a point where I LOVE my cow spots (as I like to call them). I also realize that this is not a curse but a beautiful gift from God that I can use as a platform to reach others who struggle with self acceptance. 

 

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Vitiligo is gift of uniqueness, a gift of distinction, and a gift of rarity. It confirms the fact that there's only ONE me. And there will never, ever be another. My condition forces me to remember who I am, and be transparent even when people aren't receptive to me. My skin is a visual reminder and representation of my life journey. My skin is so special because It's the one thing about me that can never be recreated. My skin is beautiful art. Even my adorning tattoos have sentimental meaning... each and every one of them!

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I'm always so intrigued by my Vitiligo markings so I document the progression by taking pics of myself every day. Pictures allow me to capture priceless moments in time that I would otherwise never see again. What started as a single spot, has now permeated over my entire body. It's so weird sometimes to look back at pictures from just a few years ago and not recognize yourself.

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It took me 30 years to get to a place of peace and I'm still learning to accept, love, and embrace certain parts of me, inside and out but I wouldn't trade my journey for anything in this world

~Crystal Alexis

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To see additional photos of Crystal visit more on the blog below...Crystal Alexis (part 1)

Male Model credit...Tracy Campbell

 

 

My OWN boudoir shoot!

My Boudoir session.....I knew I wanted to do this session for myself and this was the perfect time.....The whole week before my session, started out with some bad thoughts. As I was trying on outfits I started finding everything wrong with me. From all my skin issues, fat rolls, stretch marks, all my moles, wrinkles and freckles, looking at the 30lbs I gained after my heart surgery. My anxiety built up inside me and I was like am I a fraud for preaching to my clients "you will be fine" "girl you got this" . I am a true over thinker and was like OMG Teri is going to see me naked and all my issues I am finding right now! Then I changed the words I was saying to myself to positive thoughts, because it was getting me down. I was like, wait this body had 3 pregnancies and I gave birth to TRIPLETS! What my body held 3 babies at one time and I should be proud of what it has done and been through. The stress of ups and downs in life. Raising 5 children alone and running a business. I would say I need to be damn proud of what I was given!

 

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The morning of my session....I started those nervous feelings, that I am sure all of you feel when you do something you never have done before. Doing something "out of the BOX" can be so challenging and scary. I am such a routine, introvert. so even though this is something I do everyday, I have never been on the other side of the camera in this way. 

Walk in and sat in "THAT" chair, you know the one in front of the mirror and lights with all this makeup, you never wear and have no idea how to use. Then my AMAZING makeup artist starts her routine. Teri sits down and we all talk, laugh and all the nerves go away for the moment.

 

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Hair and makeup is all done and now its TIME! I change and I actually felt fine at this point. I was still somewhat nervous of what was going to be seen in the photos. I wanted so bad to see them at that moment. I am such a person that hates not being in control of a situation. I let go and I let Teri be the boss!!! I listened to all her directions, she was so patient with my quirkiness and just AMAZING!!! We did 3 outfits, wet T-shirt and THEN nudes...I was like oh crap here it is everything just like that on camera and proof of what I really look like...having no idea how this looks. I just trusted who I choose to do my photoshoot and knew she won't give me the "BAD" photos. It was such an AMAZING experience and felt so good afterwards.

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A few weeks go by and I will say I didn't even want my photos back. Being totally honest I didn't have that I cant wait feeling. I am not sure why, I think I was scared of how I looked. Then Teri says they are ready...EEKKK! I didn't tell anyone I was getting them back. I wanted that moment for myself since I truly did these for "ME". Then the slideshow starts playing and I LOVED THEM!!! WHAT that is ME and I know I wasn't perfect, but I knew I am perfect for me! My body has proof that I have lived this AMAZING life! It tells a story! One main thing I learned in all of this, is when I am gone, what will I be remembered for? NOT my stretch marks or the rolls I have or even all my skin issues. I think people will say she had the identical triplets, she empowered women with her photography, she was a MOM of some AMAZING kids, she was a loyal person.... these things NOT anything about my body. I went through so many emotions during this whole thing. I went through almost everything my clients do. I know how you feel, I promise you can do it and be AMAZING at it! Do a session for YOU, I did!

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 PHOTOGRAPHY by Teri Hofford  www.terihoffordphotography.com

PHOTOGRAPHY by Teri Hofford

www.terihoffordphotography.com

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"You were born to be REAL, not PERFECT"

Tracy

Working with Tracy on this shoot was fun and as nervous as I was at first, he was so professional and humble. Staying humble in this industry is a really big part of success. My goal for 2018 is to let MEN know its ok to also feel comfortable in their skin. SO seriously ladies send those men to me to photograph, so you can cherish them as much as they do you!

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Kayla

" Some women fear the fire, some women simply become it"

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Sami

I had an AMAZING team for this shoot! Working with upcoming model, Sami, was exactly what I wanted for this look. She was so easy,  energetic and empowering. We worked together so well with the styling. Then of course for Make-Up Crystal Love with Bella Chic Beauty.

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Taylor

I had the pleasure to work with this amazing girl twice. She is so focused on life and such has great sense of business, on top rocking out her sessions.

Ashely

If you have ever had the pleasure of knowing Ashely, you already know how funny and amazing this girl is. So yes walking in so nervous and kept saying"I don't know how to look sexy!" UMM WHAT!!! this girl is all kinds of sexy and it shows here. I was so excited to work with her and show her how beautiful and yes "sexy" she is!

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