Aruna Evan first noticed a white spot on her chin in 2009. She was about 20 years old at that time. At first, she ignored it as it was a small patch, but later the patches grew over her cheeks, and she realized something was going on. She got diagnosed with vitiligo the same year.
Since Aruna didn’t have vitiligo as a child, it was shocking for her to have her face change. “As an adult, you already have a pretty solid idea of what you look like. Your face is an integral part of your identity – until you have to reckon with the fact that it’s changing. It takes some getting used to,” she shares.
Aruna has a spot on the right side of her face, which makes people often think that she has some powder on her face. “I prefer people speaking up and talking to me from a genuine place of misunderstanding or curiosity. It’s the ones that secretly frown in your direction or say mean things that do the psychological damage,” Aruna opens up.
So, did it take a long time to get used to living with vitiligo? Aruna responds, “My father was frantic about finding a cure, and I appreciated that – but I also realized that feeling so desperate for a cure was causing me a lot of stress. I needed to take a breather and focus on accepting vitiligo first. From that point, I think it took me another year or two to really feel okay with it.” What did inspire her to look beyond vitiligo and embrace who she really was? “I think the most inspiring story I’ve heard was how Lee Thomas (a famous reporter from Michigan) decided not to wear makeup on his face for the first time on TV.” Aruna reveals.
In today’s cosmetic world, it’s a brave move to turn down treatments. Aruna has learned how to lower her own stress through natural means, and that seems to be working for her. Even if she wasn’t re-pigmenting, she would still be in the same boat. “There’s no certainty that expensive light therapies, creams, transplants or skin grafting will keep my spots away for good. It’s not worth the time, pain, and expense,” Aruna explains.
As mentioned earlier, Aruna is a personal fitness trainer from Boston. But, she also invests her energy and precious time in a YouTube channel that she has been running since 2009. In fact, YouTube was the first place where we found Aruna. It was her YouTube channel, which made us contact her to be part of this series so that her journey can inspire more and more youngsters.
Aruna tells us more about the channel “I am most proud of my YouTube channel. I upload every Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday nowadays. Mondays are motivational. Wednesdays are about wellness and habit tracking where I talk about my personal journey and vitiligo. On Sundays, I often upload informational videos about vitiligo – the latest research, natural treatments, and lots more.”
While there are times when Aruna finds it hard to deal with vitiligo. But, 99 percent of the time, she really feels it’s a blessing. Thanks to vitiligo, she has learned how to care for her body, mind, and soul. Not to forget, she has made some meaningful connections within the vitiligo community as well.” To anyone reading this, you are AMAZING just the way you are. Always remember that you are a part of a loving community. If you EVER feel alone, reach out and talk to someone in this community.” Aruna ends Q&A with this empowering message.
You can follow Arun Evan on YouTube and Instagram.