Fresno woman embraces flaws through art

Thursday, August 25, 2016
Fresno woman embraces flaws through art
Two years ago, Crystal Hodges image was used for a meme. It read, "One like equals beautiful," and it went viral for the wrong reasons.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one Fresno woman is embracing her looks and sharing it through pictures and paintings of her from artists around the world.

Crystal Hodges has lived with something all her life and something she hasn't always embraced. But now she's running with it through art.

Portraits take time by hand and with every stroke the details becomes more defined. For the subject, Hodges said the lines, the symmetry and the imperfections are all important.

"How we see ourselves isn't how the rest of the world sees us," she said.

Which is why she's in a dimly lit studio in Downtown Fresno.

"It's definitely intimidating and awkward," she said.

Crystal has a prominent Port Wine stain birthmark and she wanted to know what artist Marcos Dorado sees.

"She's embracing her innate qualities so for me," he said. "That's a very beautiful thing."

It wasn't always this way. Two years ago, Crystal's image was used for a meme. It read, "One like equals beautiful," and it went viral for the wrong reasons, she says.

"That was the first time I ever struggled with my birthmark," Hodges said. "I was 23 and I never had that insecurity open up."

Since then, she has been rebuilding her confidence.

"I'm proud to be who I am, as I am," she exclaimed.

She's asking artists around the world to draw pictures of her and now she has a collection of 60. With the portraits and her message, she's hoping to help others embrace who they are.

"We can dare to dream big dreams and we can change the world and be comfortable in our skin," she said.

"I'm really loving this a lot," Dorado said.

Sometimes, it takes art to put beauty into perspective - one detail at a time.

"Well I'm glad, hopefully, it's a fun process for you too," Hodges said.