Blindness and other eye issues, as well as a propensity to burn in sunlight, are the physical challenges, but people with albinism also face the psychological challenges of looking different.
Thanks to Hollywood, which delights in the myth that those with albinism are magical freaks – think of The Matrix Reloaded, The Da Vinci Code and even Javier Bardem’s role in Skyfall – that visual distinctiveness can compound the practical challenges of albinism.
The condition, which is found in all races, may be accompanied by eye problems and may lead to skin cancer later in life.
Albinism is a rare disorder found in fewer than five people per 100,000 in the United States and Europe.
In The Big Over Easy, author Jasper Fforde includes an "albino community" protest against albino bias among his fictional news clippings, most of which satirize stock characters and hackneyed plot devices.
Chicago Tribune movie reviewer Mark Caro says of this character type that it is someone "who looks albino and thus, in movie shorthand, must be vicious"., especially in popular music (though, as in the case of the Winter brothers, may themselves be the subject of "evil albino" parody).
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The depiction of albinism in popular culture, especially the portrayal of people with albinism in film and fiction, has been asserted by albinism organizations and others to be largely negative and has raised concerns that it reinforces, or even engenders, societal prejudice and discrimination against such people.
The "evil albino" stereotype or stock character is a villain in fiction who is depicted as being albinistic (or displaying physical traits usually associated with albinism, even if the term is not used), with the specific and obvious purpose of distinguishing the villain in question from the heroes by means of appearance.
Albino animals capture public imagination and wonder as zoo attractions, and even in the wild can attract popular, positive attention Fear of vampires and other legendary undead with a deathly pallor, especially in European folklore, could also have contributed to albino bias.