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4 Incidents that exemplified Insensitivity toward Vitiligo

We often give little credit to photographers, painters, muralists, and artists for celebrating some of our more common ‘imperfections’, including vitiligo. But, why some people appear to be offending vitiligo fighters over and over is beyond us. In fact, there have been times when people miss the mark and push for skin diversity in the wrong way.

This blog talks about some of the incidents that will make you think ‘That is not acceptable’. Taking a cue from what is acceptable and what is not, here are 4 cases of discrimination against vitiligo fighter(s) or the community at large that will make you cringe.

1. A Beauty Blogger mimicked vitiligo

Golgi Apparatus is known to create some amazing looks on his Instagram account. But, one of the makeup artist’s renditions landed him in serious trouble. The beauty blogger posted a makeup look and was quickly called out for mimicking vitiligo.

A Twitter user “@ESHAXQ” replied with anger, “What we’re NOT gonna do here is mimic skin conditions and make them a makeup trend.” Many people from the vitiligo community joined in the comments to express their disappointment toward Golgi’s makeup choice. One user wrote, “This makes me LIVID. My beautiful cousin has vitiligo and was brutally bullied her whole life over this condition. She herself is a work of art. This is not art.”

After receiving a ton of backlash for the look, Golgi took to social media to write an apology and removed the post. Sadly, by then the damage was already done. The beauty blogger’s vitiligo look was trending on the internet.

2. Pune woman was refused message service

As per a report of Pune Mirror, Jacqui (55) was denied service at one of the most popular spas in the city. The Pune resident narrated the humiliating experience at Four Fountains Spa, “The staff was welcoming at first and I was soon lying back, awaiting a therapist to attend to me. When she came in, she examined the white patches on my hands and legs after which she left the room. I remained to lay there, waiting for her to return. When there was no sign of her, I approached the management to get an explanation. Their response shocked me.”

After 15 minutes, Jacqui was told that the therapist had refused to attend her because of her vitiligo. Jacqui, who has been living with vitiligo for over 40 years, said that she never faced this kind of insult except when she was in school.

The spa realized their mistake when the news got blown out of proportion. Sunil Rao, Director, Four Fountains Spa, issued a public apology and informed everyone that they took strict, disciplinary action against the therapist involved. However, Jacqui never received an apology from the spa regarding the issue.

3. Miss Tourism International Contestant was removed. Reason? Her vitiligo.

A Panamanian contestant was removed from the Miss Tourism International pageant because of her skin condition. As per a tweet from publication, Panamá América, Paulett Rosales participated in three rounds of competitions before the President of the organization decided that she can no longer participate because of her vitiligo.

Previously, Paulett was crowned Miss Tourism Panama International 2018 and was representing her country in the contest held in the capital of Malaysia. Sadly, none of the global media outlets took this act of discrimination seriously and reported it the way it should have been. Thankfully, Rosales received lots of love from those in the pageant world.

4. A UK Magazine called Winnie Harlow a vitiligo sufferer

“I’m not a Vitiligo Sufferer. I just happen to have Vitiligo, Stop putting these titles on me or anyone else.” This was supermodel Winnie Harlow’s response to The Evening Standard, which called her a “vitiligo sufferer” in an issue.

Harlow posted a newspaper clipping on her social media handle, explaining why she was deeply offended by the wording. Along with Winnie, the entire vitiligo community lashed out at the publication that characterized an individual by her skin condition. However, Evening Standard never issued an apology for exhibiting such Insensitivity toward Vitiligo.

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