In the year 2011, Caio Braga noticed his first vitiligo patch. Even though he was a high school teenager at the time of diagnosis, he never had extreme problems with the chronic skin disorder. In fact, it took him just one year to be absolutely indifferent to vitiligo. When he stepped into adulthood, he started loving it.
Caio’s reasoning to love his vitiligo is slightly different. He sees it as a work of art. He explains, “I love the human body and the way we can express ourselves through it. I feel happy, proud and beautiful about having vitiligo. And I wish I had more. I like the idea that my body is a living art.”
This could be one of the reasons why Caio rejects all kinds of vitiligo treatment today. He says vitiligo is NOT a disease and does not need a cure. It is a condition that you can learn to love. “My experience with vitiligo introduced me to the man I became. I did not know that this man existed within me and it was through vitiligo that I discovered my strength. And I’m very proud of that,” Caio pours his heart out.
So, what inspires this young man to be this positive person. He shares, “I know great books that talk about body language and they inspire me a lot. Because I am an advertising person, many campaigns have also inspired me over the years. One movie I cherish with affection is ‘Life of Pi’, which explores human nature in various adversities. In music, I’m extremely fascinated and involved by Adele. Love is everything.”
“So. do people see him in a different light?” We asked Caio. He answered. “Little, but yes. There are still people unable to deal with differences, so it will always happen.”
In 2017, Caio, alongside his friend Felipe Corsino, created a vitiligo awareness campaign called #SejaSuaMarca, which aimed to strengthen the self-esteem in people with vitiligo. The work was very well received and covered by local press. With this campaign, Caio got an opportunity to speak about vitiligo in various cities across Brazil. “I have already starred in some publicity campaigns about acceptance and self-esteem, and today I act directly in the acceptance of children with vitiligo,” he shares the progress.
“What you think of the representation of vitiligo in popular culture?” This was our last question in line. The young advertising professional replied, “In my city Belo Horizonte, I have observed a lot about the media presence of vitiligo. The type of approach and representativeness attributed. I believe we’re improving and we have great names nowadays. Here in Brazil, I would like to highlight Barbarhat Sueyassu and Sam Gonçalves, two friends who also do wonderful work with their body.”
We wish Caio Braga best of luck for his future vitiligo advocacy work. We want to see him inspiring more and more kids with vitiligo in the future.