Amid unrealistic beauty standards and the ongoing debate, whether one should wear makeup in vitiligo or not, a 21 years old girl from Bangalore is standing tall. She runs a Beauty YouTube channel, not to teach everyone to mask their faces with makeup but to experiment and have fun with it. As far as a white patch on her face is concerned, she wears it as a badge of honor.
Prarthana Jagan was 11 when she was diagnosed with vitiligo. She recalls, “It is hard when you’re just trying to figure out what kind of person you want to be. And, it becomes even more difficult when you’re dealing with a skin disorder most kids your age won’t be.”
Prarthana used to slather heavy makeup before leaving for school. Understandably, it was confusing for an 11-years-old to know what concealer and foundation were. “It made my life much harder. It took me 8 years to ditch the makeup and feel the sun on my bare face again,” the young YouTuber shares.
The constant nagging and bullying must have made things difficult, but Prarthana’s experiences as a troubled teen have shaped her into the person she is today. “Yes, bullying was and still is one of the most valuable lessons I learned as a human being. I like to take the good out of the bad, and I feel like I’ve learned it the hard way to be nicer and kinder to my peers,” she shares.
Prarthana feels vitiligo isn’t something one should be ashamed to have. In fact, it makes you so much more unique as no two people with vitiligo have the same pattern. For those who love to read, Prarthana has a recommendation, “I did find this book called How to Be a Badass, that was one hell of a good book. It’s a must-read if you’re feeling low and need a pick me up moment.”
Over the years, being happy and exercising on a daily basis have had a positive impact on Prarthana’s vitiligo. “Is she undergoing any treatment?” we asked her. She answers, “Currently, I’m researching a bit on the cure, I do wish to be fully cured in the coming years. I’m keen on finding a cure and hopefully, my skin agrees too.”
It’s great to discover how maturely today’s youngsters are embracing their imperfections. Just a few days back, we met Haider Razzaq, a 21-year-old aerospace engineering student with vitiligo. Very similar to Haider, Prarthana too amazed us with the message she has for teenagers with vitiligo – “You are you, and that is your superpower. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. Hope is the one thing no one can steal that from you. When you’re alone, make your head a beautiful place to be in because that’s going to guide you towards greatness. Don’t be afraid of showing yourself some love! Go, be confident”.
Prarthana’s success story has been part of many local newspapers and online publications. She is also India’s first model with vitiligo to walk the ramp. You can follow Prarthana on Instagram and YouTube.