June is probably the only month of the year when vitiligo records all-time high coverage in mainstream media. Just like last year, World Vitiligo Day 2019, which was celebrated on June 25th, too was a huge success around the world. This year, WVD moved its global headquarter to the beautiful Vietnamese city of Hanoi. The international theme of this year’s World Vitiligo Day was ‘The Quality of Life of a Vitiligo Patient’.
Indian, the second most popular country in the world, observed the maximum number of vitiligo awareness drives and events. WVD conference, celebration events, and awareness campaigns were organized in cities like Patna, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, and Tiruchi where the first National Convention for Vitiligo was organized by the Leucoderma Awareness Movement. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of the Indian state of West Bengal also took to Twitter to spread awareness on chronic skin condition.
Today is #WorldVitiligoDay. We must pledge not to discriminate against anyone on the basis of skin colour
আজ বিশ্ব ভিটিলিগো দিবস। আসুন আমরা শপথ নিই কারও গায়ের রঙের কারণে তাদের বিরুদ্ধে বৈষম্যমূলক আচরণ যেন না করি
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 25, 2019
Moving further down to the south, Sri Lanka celebrated its first ever World Vitiligo Day. The event had its own logo, which featured Nadungamuwe Raja, one of the Asian elephants that experience some de-pigmentation in form of pink freckles on the skin – something we all observe in vitiligo.
This year, the World Vitiligo Day (USA) conference moved to Houston, Texas, which was organized by Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement (HVAM), a support and advocacy organization. The conference took place from June 21-23 and attracted nearly 300 attendees, including vitiligo fighters and their family/friends, as well as vitiligo research experts. The theme of this year’s conference was “The Mental and Medical Journey of Living with Vitiligo: It Starts with ME!”
The French Vitiligo Association (Association Française du Vitiligo), Europe’s oldest vitiligo support network since 1992 organized rallies to create vitiligo awareness on June 25th, all over France. On the other hand, World Vitiligo Day 2019 was commemorated in Mexico with an exposition of professional photographs of people with vitiligo, taken by Panoramic Lab.
Now, moving away from World Vitiligo Day 2019, what else captured the community’s attention was Vogue Arabia’s June edition. Ace photographer Dan Beleiu shot supermodel Winnie Harlow and Shahad Salman, a Mecca-based model, for the world’s most influential magazine’s cover. To shoot the cover, Winnie flew from New York to Saudi Arabia. The pictures from the shoot caught everybody’s attention and Shahad Salman’s Instagram following increased wondrously post the shoot. Yet another Vogue world exclusive, themed “women standing for women”, the June issue sent out a positive message to today’s social media obsessed world about the importance of inclusivity and vitiligo’s representation.
In other news, ‘Scandal!’ star Brighton Ngoma opened up about living with vitiligo during the vitiligo awareness month i.e. June 2019. Brighton, who has white patches on his arms and hands, has been posting about the skin condition several times over the past three weeks. On the occasion of World Vitiligo Day, the TV actor answered questions about the skin disorder and told his followers that it’s not painful or infectious. “In case you’re wondering, my skin condition is known as vitiligo. It’s not contagious, it’s not painful. It just means I might get the land back quicker. Kidding!” he captioned the post.