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Vitiligo & the perception of Beauty – 6 Ways to feel attractive again

During our school days, we all must have heard that beauty comes from within and it lies in the eye of the beholder. This should have been enough to make us believe that beauty is not just a visual experience. It is the qualities that give pleasure, meaning or satisfaction to the senses.

Sadly, that’s not how everyone perceives beauty. Confucius once quoted “everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.”  Today, physical appearance is often mistaken for beauty. And, the skin is the most important component of that appearance. Though often unconsciously, our skins are under constant scrutiny in our daily interactions. And, if an individual’s skin has asymmetrical white patches (vitiligo), his/her beauty is perceived to be lost.

Vitiligo has a recorded history of more than 3500 years. Still, the society hasn’t gotten used to the idea of seeing something asymmetrical, something not so common. In fact, several beauty adverts have been highlighting the importance of having flawless skin. Result? Many vitiligo fighters anticipate rejection and avoid public or interpersonal interactions, losing out on several social opportunities. Feeling ugly inside out, we start believing that at all ages and in all walks of life, attractive people are judged more favorably and treated better.

Then, what do you do to make yourself feel attractive and not bothered by the perceived notion of beauty? Well, just be yourself. Beauty is unfair. Not everyone can be born symmetrical. Not everyone can be born enticingly. Besides, across individuals and cultures, there is nevertheless considerable agreement about what makes a pretty or handsome face. The trait that defines a Korean beauty is having “double eyelids” and V-line Face. In India, being fair means having wealth, luxury, and more importantly a status that commoners cannot achieve in his/her lifetime.

Hopefully, by now, you understand that no one can be beautiful universally. However, you can be attractive universally. Many factors contributing to attractiveness are potentially under your control. Work on them (only if you wish). Below mentioned tricks have helped me tremendously, hope they work out for you too.

  1. When it comes to assessing beauty, many vitiligo fighters are their own critics. Don’t filter your attractiveness the way others do. So what if you look unique. Many people pay millions of dollars to do that. Wake up in the morning and repeat 5 times – “I am Beautiful.”
  2. The way you dress, the way you act and the way you carry yourself can play into personal attractiveness. Certain things that are not impossible to change, like your body size and shape make a huge difference to your attractiveness quotient.
  3. Don’t feel what fellow vitiligo fighters say to you. If you feel comfortable covering your facial patches with vitiligo camouflage makeup, do that. It’s all about being comfortable in your own skin, with or without makeup.
  4. A group of Swedish and Dutch researchers conducted an experiment and observed that individuals who are sleep deprived are rated significantly less attractive than those who were rested. Do the needful. Sleep at least 8 hours to look fresh.
  5. Not surprising, positive emotions increase attractiveness. We are drawn to those who smile and laugh without any inhibition. Be that person.
  6. Connect with nature. The beauty of nature can have a profound effect on your senses. Nature can reveal its beauty in all places and at all times. It can make us believe that nothing is quite beautiful alone. Nothing is beautiful in the whole.

You are beautiful

It’s common to be intermediated by someone who is perceived beautiful physically. It’s natural to be thinking – “I could be that attractive if I didn’t have vitiligo.” The moment you observe yourself doing it, think a minute. The word “beautiful” holds more meaning to it than you would think. It could mean you have a beautiful smile, beautiful eyes or a beautiful soul.  After all, physical beauty is something that lasts with age, no matter how many plastic surgeries or Botox one may have to stay young. All you need is a smile and self-confidence. No matter what corner of the world you travel to, you will always be beautiful in the eyes of the beholders.

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