Today is June 25th, which means it is World Vitiligo day!
Hey! I’m Zaida and I was diagnosed with vitiligo when I was three years old. My parents noticed that some parts of my face were discoloured, so I was sent to a dermatologist and was diagnosed right away. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder, this means that it can’t be cured. The dermatologist ended up prescribing a lotion to try to fade my vitiligo spots, this “lotion” essentially was a skin bleacher, so my mom just left it alone and my spots have been spreading ever since.
Growing up with vitiligo was difficult at some points because a lot of the time I felt like my spots were the only thing that people saw when they looked at me. Every time I met someone new one of the first things I would get asked was why I have white dots covering my face, and when people saw my legs they would think that I have something dramatically wrong with me. Now I’m used to answering questions like this, but as a kid I felt so different from everyone else and my vitiligo spots turned into my biggest insecurity and really damaged the way that I viewed myself.
It took a few years but now that I’m 18, I’m finally at a place where I’m confident with my vitiligo. When I look at myself I don’t see it as being different in a negative way, I see myself as beautiful and unique. I’ve fully accepted that it’s a part of who I am, and as the spots spread I’ll just have to love them even more. It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to go into Elizabeth Noel, try on a dress, and to no longer worry about how much of my vitiligo is showing.
My name is Ava and I’m 13 years old. I was diagnosed with vitiligo at age four when a tiny spot appeared on my back. Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition where the skin loses its pigment cells (melanocytes) resulting in white patches. Vitiligo does not discriminate and affects any race, any gender and can occur at any age in life. It is estimated that 1% of the world’s population is living with vitiligo and there is currently no cure. I didn’t even really notice my vitiligo until I was about seven when it rapidly started spreading and other people began to point it out. Kids (and adults)
started asking questions and soon after teasing became a daily event. They would call me names, point, stare, and ask rude questions about my skin.
It was a gifted trip when I was 10 years old to Portland, Oregon to meet a famous dog with vitiligo, White Eyed Rowdy, that boosted my self esteem and changed my life. I returned from that trip with confidence I didn’t know I could have. I finally met others with vitiligo and realized that I wasn’t alone. I am now heavily involved in the vitiligo community and a role model for kids, and adults, who are struggling with their vitiligo. My motto is “Love the Skin You’re In” and my goal is to share that message to everyone who needs to hear it. Modelling has really helped me to achieve my goal and to share my message to the world. Differences are beautiful and I am proud to say that I no longer struggle, in fact, Vitiligo was the best thing that ever happened to me.