I was three years old when I had my first encounter with vitiligo. As compared to childhood, it was more difficult to deal with vitiligo as a teen. When I was figuring out the world all by myself, it was my family that helped me get through difficult times and bullying. I remember my father boosting my morale by saying things like “You are the strongest among my all three children.” Small things like this filled me up with confidence. Slowly, I began learning to love myself.
Now, I feel blessed to have vitiligo. I believe having vitiligo has made me the person I am today. I’m not interested in getting it disappeared. Hence, I don’t want to cover my skin with a heavy layer of makeup. I think it’s something that makes me unique among millions of people.
There are still a few things that people commonly get wrong about vitiligo. In my case, most people think it is contagious. Some assume it to be Psoriasis or scars from a burn. I think people with vitiligo still do not have enough representation in books or cinema. However, it is also true that slowly we are inching toward a more inclusive world, where vitiligo is getting enough visibility. Thanks to supermodel like Winnie Harlow, the world is curious to know who we are.
In today’s day and age, everyone craves to stand out, to look different, and to be different. We, people with vitiligo, have that factor that makes us unique. Because every body’s vitiligo is different, our skins are nothing, but pieces of art. So, it is our duty, as a community, to show the world that vitiligo is new ‘Normal’. It is not contagious, it is not communicable. It’s our responsibility to burst common myths surrounding the condition so that vitiligo can be normalized.