If you are an internet savvy vitiligo fighter, you would know who Kelsey Ketting is. The 23-year-old model from Redondo Beach, CA is living her life to the fullest, keeping all vitiligo worries at bay. Having bold, brave models like Kelsey around, it’s wonderful to see diversity celebrated everywhere, but especially in the world of fashion, where women have looked like clones of one another for far too long.
Kelsey was 4 years old when she was first diagnosed with vitiligo. She adjusted to the news easily because it only spread for a few months and she would conceal it most of the time. It was her late teens that were the hardest. “No one really knew I had vitiligo because I always hid it. So when all my friends would go to the beach I never took my shirt off. It wasn’t till I was an adult where I fully accepted and loved myself,” Kelsey recalls.
From what we have seen on the social media, many vitiligans own their vitiligo and are proud of their unique. They usually testify to turning down treatments or creams to change their skin. Kelsey is one of them. But, it’s no secret that there are many things that people commonly get wrong about your vitiligo. Kelsey too has been often asked if her vitiligo was contagious or was she born with it.
Kelsey has experienced a little bullying on social media in the last couple of years. “It hurt but I was able to brush it off and keep a strong mind. I read a lot of Mike Dooley books which helped me stay motivated to do things I was afraid of such as modeling. Today, I would love myself whether I had it or not. But, I feel great about my vitiligo and feel that it makes me unique. It has made me more confident,” Kelsey pours her heart out.
Though Kelsey is doing her bit to strengthen the representation of vitiligo in the modeling industry, she strongly feels that vitiligo fighters are underrepresented in popular culture. She makes a point, “I don’t think I’ve ever read a book or saw a movie about someone with vitiligo or even characters with vitiligo.”
Today, Kelsey is among the few models that are representing vitiligo in a positive light. Since the beginning of her modeling career, she has been part of many campaigns that broke the perceived norms of beauty standards. We wish Kelsey all the best and are honored to have her featured among all Vitiligo Crusaders.