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My Vitiligo Story | From Juan Llobell’s Diary

Juan Llobell, a 27 years old photographer and filmmaker from Spain, shares his vitiligo story.

I don’t remember exactly when I noticed my first vitiligo patch. It was probably 2 years ago. But, I like it as it has been a part of me. I have never experienced any kind of bullying for being a vitiligo fighter, but I have to say that it has been quite interesting how people stare at me and my vitiligo.

From the moment it started to appear, different people responded to my vitiligo differently. Some asked me to cover it or even called it “weird” and “unusual” while some just said – “Wow! You look awesome!” Which one of these is the most common response? Frankly, I never really cared about that.

Whenever I speak about vitiligo, people usually listen and try to understand what it is. While doing so, I come across two groups of people. People from the first group ask questions and appreciate my positive way of dealing with it. But, there are people who belong to another group. They politely try to tell you about treatments. To them, I always say that I love it and I want it forever. These people look at me like as if I am some kind of freak.

Today, vitiligo makes me who I am. I loved it from the very first moment I noticed it. Perhaps, that’s why it took me maybe just 5 seconds to get used to living with vitiligo. I think it happened to me for a reason and I am very comfortable with it. I actually love it.

Whenever you will go, you will always find people who would stare at you. I would like to divide them into 3 groups – the weird looking ones (who give you a kind of scary or disgusting look. I like to believe that they are very insecure people), the ones with the curious look (these are the people who look at you once and turn their face) and the ones who give you the ‘Owen Wilson’ look (they look at you with a smile and you can read, in their mind they are saying… “wow”). Meeting any of these kinds may intimidate you a little bit, but if you are comfortable with your vitiligo, you can still do your thing and ignore the rest.

I think there are more important things than the representation of vitiligo fighters in popular culture, but having enough of it would encourage vitiligans who are not very comfortable in their own skin.

At present, I am diving into many photography and filmmaking projects, but I would like to start some kind of a vitiligo travel vlog, where I can share my experiences of dealing with vitiligo while I’m traveling around the world.

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