Mutation or Masterpiece?

Albinism, depending on personal preference, may be viewed as either an unfortunate disadvantage or a wondrous gift of art. The beautiful colour that is white is often associated with purity and innocence. 

Albinism, also known as achromia, achromasia, or achromatosis, is a congenital disorder that affects all vertebrates, including us Homo sapiens. This genetical mix up is the opposite of melanism, where there is more than enough melanin produced by the said person with melanism. Albinos are unable to produce melanin, a natural substance that gives colors to the hair, skin and iris of the eye as well as protect the skin from sunburns, making them more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer as well as a number of other vision defects. Albinism can affect anyone regardless of race and ethnicity. 

Albinism in animals can increase the chances of an animal being hunted down and killed as it is more difficult for the animal to camouflage against greenery. However, it is an advantage when the said animal is hiding in the snow, similar to how polar bears camouflage themselves. They also appear to have problems with hunting as the prey might be able to spot the said animal earlier than expected, causing the prey to escape beforehand. 

Albinos are also occasionally degraded in certain cultures. For example, in Jamaica, Albinos were historically degraded and were considered “cursed”. In addition, in Zimbabwe, there was a modern folklore where it was believed that performing the act of sexual intercourse with female albinos could cure one of HIV. 

Down to the real question. Is albinism a genetical problem, or a gift? Albinism does have it’s downfalls and it’s advantages; from being unable to hunt as viciously if you’re an animal to applying massive amounts of sunscreen everyday for the rest of your life. Either way, it is up to you to answer the question above. If or when you come across an albino, just keep in mind that this entire thing is merely physical, so there’s no holding back when it comes to personality! 


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