This campaign was created to bring awareness to the challenges and stigma attached to living with vitiligo in a world obsessed with appearance.
All around the world, people conceal their skin in fear of rejection from their family, peers and society in general. Makeup becomes a defense mechanism rather than an enhancement when makeup should be a choice; not a seemed necessity.
These wonderful people were kind enough to share their stories and words of wisdom encouragement for those on their own journeys.
"I haven't always been comfortable in my skin. Before being diagnosed at the age of 12, I had already developed a complex about my dark skin. When I found out I had vitiligo I thought it was my punishment for wishing to be lightskinned with straight hair. Support and love not just from others but learning to love myself made me realize how beautiful I truly am. I tried covering the vitiligo on myface once in high school and I hated it. I just didn't look like me. As an adult, make-up became hobby. I'm fortunate to have grown up in an environment where I didn't feel the need to cover my spots. Yeah, there were unpleasant interactions but facing that adversity shaped the confidence I have today. I know whatever face I choose is stunning."
“I like the beautiful both ways challenge although makeup was never my thing other than popping lipstick and red is my signature. However at 16 a lady who worked for Mary Kay applied foundation which made me feel very odd and uncomfortable. 3 yrs ago I decided to try makeup again. Foundation that is because I do the eye shadows and lips and I found a shade which suited my tone. Every now and then when I'm going out or wake up in one of my#MsTouchieMama moods I go extra and apply my foundation.”
“So this is MY Story, it's been a little over 3 years having Vitiligo. I admit I have my down days but I'm definitely learning to embrace it because IT'S MY LIFE/REALITY. It started off as small spots and as you can see it just Spreads. The more i put it out there the better it makes me feel. The people that see me everyday sees it cause I don't wear the makeup only on Occasions. Makeup does make me feel better and its my choice. I used to hide behind the makeup but not anymore. This is Life Changing for me, I get the Stares and I've been asked if i was burnt or what happen to my face but I understand Alot of people DO NOT even know what VITILIGO is. It is what it is and I am Who I Am...My skin may be changing but my HEART and PERSONALITY will ALWAYS STAY THE SAME. “
“I walk with my head held high. I still wear make-up because I like to. Not because I feel I have to. When I don’t wear makeup and people stare and point fingers I smile. They have the problem I don’t . Children still stare and are afraid at times. But I ease their fears with a smile and a kind “Hello how are you”. My faith has brought me so far. I hope this will help someone who felt the same way I did. After all, we are God’s artwork on our skin.”
“Here is my side by side my beauties! Not much a difference here. 🙂 I hardly ever wear make up. The only reason I have this picture is due to a bonding moment with my daughter. Plain Jane is my favorite way to be! Love to all.”
“I was diagnosed with Vitiligo almost 8 years ago. I was scared, angry and frustrated. I attended my first vitiligo conference in DC June 2016. I was so overwhelmed seeing so many people with vitiligo. Meeting people and hearing the many stories and journeys with this condition,helped encourage me to believe that I would survive and live my life.
Vitiligo is something I have. It’s not who I am as a person. I am still me. My greatest joy is sharing my story and bringing awareness to those who have just been diagnosed and have those same emotions that I had. Some days are hard, but it's great to know I have a whole community of family behind and in front of me to lead me or reach back and pull me out of a rut. I am grateful for the many vitilogoans I have met in person and on social media.”
“I have endured living with vitiligo for almost half of my adult life. It started when I was 25. Now, I'm 47. Patches affect my face, arms, elbows, hands, neck, stomach, feet and legs. Vitiligo,is one of these strange phenomenons that force you to grow a "thick skin" fast. It took me over 10 years to actually be "at peace" with my spots. I was extremely self-conscious about it for a while and I felt like I was constantly under a microscope being around folks who didn't know me. . I am pleased to say, I have found solace knowing God loves me and vitiligo is not a punishment. I live with vitiligo but it doesn't control me. I wear makeup most of the time because I just love makeup! It's part of my daily routine. Been wearing the stuff since I was 16. I truly love makeup..Especially lipstick! I go out sometimes, without my face done, just to let my pores breath a little.”
(Loosely translated from Spanish) “For 27 years, I’ve have Vitiligo and there were many people who didn’t know or noticed until today...I had expensive and exhausting treatments but nothing gave results and I have different opinions of what this condition really is. But today, today I will no longer try to get rid of my spots. I just want to accept myself as I am and live happily as God intended for my purpose...This is me, I am better every day!!”
“Born with Vitiligo, I was mistreated, bullied and left feeling unworthy of myself. As I entered into middle school, I tried covering my spots as much as I could to avoid being picked on. As an adult, I covered with makeup and various hairstyles because I was ashamed and hated my skin and how I looked. It was not until this year, March 1st, that I decided to truly live and accept who God has created me to be. No longer hiding, I’ve found my true identity behind the very marks I kept concealed from the world and I’ve never felt so free and relieved 😃 Either way, I’m #BeautifulBothWays“.
“I kinda feel like I was a late bloomer when it comes to entering the Vit life. At the age of five my mother saw my first spot on my butt. Little did she know back long ago what it was. Not until the age of 34 did I fully understand my life would change for the better when it came to my health and care of my body.
My second spot just out of nowhere came on my neck. A perfect square. Doctor right away said it was Vitiligo. Then the nightmares and questions came. Waking up thinking I had lost all my color and why me?
Then my hands. But as long as my face was good I was good well two years later it popped up on my eye. Tears and lots of makeup. More research. 9 years later I’m here. No more tears, no more questions, no more research and less makeup. I became a makeup junkie lol. I look at pictures of my Vit family and wonder what if I had lost more color? Then I realize God made us this way for several different reasons and gave us each a journey of our own. We each had to learn to deal with our spots in our own way. So at 43 I have learned to embrace my spots or my God’s patchwork and enjoy this journey with love ,peace ,and happiness!!”
“I’ve only had Vitiligo for about 3 almost 4 years. I’m still not comfortable with it. I don’t wanna be negative but I can’t lie I don’t like it. I wear makeup to avoid questions when I don’t feel like being bothered. That is most of the time. I love myself. I am thankful for my health.”
“I got my first spot when I was 19 years old. I noticed the first spot on my right elbow and immediately thought I knew what it was. I didn't give it much thought till I got pregnant with my first some and noticed slight discoloration on my hands and feet. At first I was terrified because I had no idea what was happening to my skin. I looked it up and after confirming that it wasnt life threatening I began the task of researching it. When I found out there was no cure and that it could spread.
I remembered seeing a woman with it in a store once and feeling sorry that she had it and felt so guilty.
I can’t say having vitiligo ever bothered me but it did challenge my ability to love myself and indeed has brought me such a deep sense of love for my skin and acceptance for my appearance that I could never imagine my life without it and would never dream of getting rid of it. I feel like one of the most unique people I know and I dont mind being stared at.”
“There was a time in my life from 16-22 where i didn’t leave the house or have company over unless i had makeup on!! I am 25 now and was going through my pictures, trying to find a recent pic WITH makeup and it made me realize how much I’ve grown! I finally am able to love my self for who i am regardless of how different i look to others! It’s such a liberating feeling to look in the mirror and finally love what you see. I have been through every stage and feeling Vitiligo could give you, and at this point i’m proud to say I am completely content and honored with the life God gave me! There’s a quote somewhere that says God gives it’s toughest battles to his strongest warriors. I Live by that!! I Hope all you beautiful vitiligo kings and queens take the time to Love yourself today. Take the time to look in the mirror and appreciate all the beauty you have to offer the world and always remember beauty goes deeper than skin!”
“I don't think it's easier either way whether you get it as a child or an adult. I was diagnosed at 29 and it took me only 3 yrs to start embracing my Vitiligo so I commend those dealing with it at a young age for coming out that shell victorious!”
“Hello guys Ekta here and this is my story... I am 27 year old beautiful girl from Maharashtra. I was struggling due to the highly visible white spots on my face and hands. My relatives (particularly the aunts) used to discriminate against me a lot. They would ask their kids not to share food with me. They would pretend to be nice with me, but, they had clear guidelines to their kids not to mix too much with me as if I was ‘untouchable’.
But luckily, some of my wonderful friends have changed my life and the perspectives...I started seeing my life in beautiful ways....I started loving myself...I have changed my life in fully positive ways..They never made me feel if I was different from them...One of my friends showed me that covering your face with makeup is your temporary beauty but to be strong and confident is your real beauty....that moment changed everything....
Now I LOVE MY VITILIGO ♥️ Self acceptance is the real power!”
“My story begins with the fact that I have had Vitiligo for 22 years. I have never showed my Vitiligo to anyone except my family. I have always covered it up with Dermablend for the entirety of my life. My mom taught me how to put it on when I was 5 years old and I just continued with this method into my adulthood. I have been wearing it ever since as a part of my daily beauty routine. It has however, been an emotional rollercoaster these past few years. I'm beginning to gain confidence and hoping that I inspire someone to be strong and never let anything get them down. Vitiligo may be apart of my life but it is not "my life" it's an addition to my beauty that I own and live vigorously with.”
“I've had vitiligo 10 yrs now and it's made me more of a stronger woman...don’t like to wear make up tho but when I do I enjoy it”
“My name is Brini F. I have had vitiligo since I was 7 years old. Growing up I was very ashamed of my vitiligo. I would always wear clothes to cover up my arms and legs. I would get picked on and was called many names. There were many days and nights I would cry thinking I was ugly and no one would ever like me. As I got older I accepted all my flaws and imperfections. I realized that nothing was wrong with me and I was beautiful just the way God made me. I am 30 years old and every day I fall more in love with this beautiful canvas God created. I still get looks and whispers when I wear shorts or a dress. Now I just smile hold my head high and walk with pride. I am no longer ashamed of who I am because God created me to be Brini, the beautiful girl with vitiligo.”
“My name is Mischa (mee-sha) lol.. I live in DENVER, Colorado. I have been living with Vitiligo for about 15 years. I’m still trying insecure about it at times. Especially in my face, I can deal with my arms, legs and hands. So, today is will be my first day where I post a picture of my face without makeup.”
“‘Covering your vitiligo should be a choice not a necessity.’ Almost 10 years living with vitiligo and I’m okay 😊”
“I’ve never posted a picture of myself without makeup. My mom convinced me to join [a] group because of the toll she can see having vitiligo takes on me. The stress that accompanies it has not become easier to deal with in the 6 years I’ve had it. I’m hoping this helps but even posting this makes me so uncomfortable and I wish I was in a place where I could accept it.”
“I am a 43 year old Venezuelan. I have always considered myself beautiful and I’ve had 8 vitiligo on my skin for 8 years. The indiscreet people on the street looked at me strangely and sometimes they would make comments or ask questions. My self-esteem went down a lot. But for almost 2 years I learned to put on makeup and I changed my life to see myself more beautiful so much so it improved my self-esteem so when I do not use makeup I consider myself beautiful. Everything is in the attitude and energy that you radiate.”
“My vitiligo started 8 years ago. 36 year old mother of 2 kids...embracing every spot every day!”
“I have had vitiligo for now 24 years (I was diagnosed at 2!) I wouldn’t be the person I without having vitiligo. I am stronger and kinder. It’s never easy having a visible flaws. Yet, imperfections are beautiful. I let my vitiligo stand out; I only usually wear mascara. I actually have no idea how to do makeup 😂.
Be proud of your vitiligo! It’s beautiful, all our spots are different, it’s so cool!”
"Acceptance! I’ve always accepted me as I am. The problem is why me? Why did I go through such a drastic change? I was picked on In school middle school of course. the stares and whispering and laughing. I was called bleach face, burnt, wallpaper. All type of mean words that started to attack myself esteem. My Jr high sweetheart KD called me beautiful. He was the First male that I remember calling me beautiful. I thought he was lying. Every time he spoke to me he called me beautiful. Soon I started to believe that. When I finally believed it in my heart I finally became understanding! The most attractive beauty is inner beauty! I love Deairrah! And to know me is to love me! "
“For eleven years I hid my vitiligo from the world with camouflage makeup. I didn’t accept it as a part of me. As a performer, I felt there was never any hope of the world accepting me with my vitiligo exposed, and that revealing my truth would sabotage my career, my friendships and my working relationships. Finally, hiding became exhausting and I found the courage to share my story via my blog, The Jimmie Journal. Slowly but surely I’m learning to love my uniqueness and so far, it’s truly been terrifying and liberating all at the same time. To anyone on a journey similar to mine, know that you’re not alone. We’re beautiful both ways and we will learn to believe this and thrive in this truth together!”
“My name is Iomikoe Johnson and I got Vitiligo at 25 for 12 years I covered my Vitiligo because I was shamed of it I feared people’s judgement because as a teen I was teased for being a dark skin girl , I met this incredible man who loved me past my skin and taught me to love the skin I was in he encouraged me and showered me with love and told me I was beautiful every single day since the day I met him he showed me that love can conquer all ,so now I inspire others to love the skin there in !! and that my confidence is contagious and that we are Painted with a purpose and that Vitiligo is a Gift from God and That Different is Beautiful.”
(Loosely translated from Portuguese) “For a long time I believed that people with vitiligo were sad. Believing in this ‘truth’, I also considered myself as such. For a long time, I deprived myself of many cool things, thinking that I was not deserving of everything the world could offer me as beautiful ... because ‘I had vitiligo’ 😟
Deprivation with myself was a way of protecting myself from people who might hurt me with some question or comment😕
But this feeling has been changing every day!!!! From the moment you accept yourself the way you are HAPPINESS will overflow you in a way that gets to be a bit confusing 😂
Hence, you ask me ‘can I be happy even having vitiligo?!’ YOU CAN!!!!!! Allow yourself to feel this HAPPINESS just depends on you!
Acceptance is a way to get free!
BE HAPPY ALWAYS!”
“Imagine having vitiligo then boom...a make-up artist comes along and transforms you.
I was cute y'all. I actually liked it but then a few people told me that it wasn't CeCe. I didn't take it the wrong way but truth be told, I wanted to rock it. I was STILL Beautiful. In all actuality, this is my before & after because I once was the girl without spots!!! Look, im not saying I don't like the way I look on a regular basis but something inside of me woke up. I was reassured that I CAN look like what society says is "normal". I CAN fit in. BUT WHY WOULD I? Big thanks to Myisha for allowing me to feel that for the first time in my life.”
"Love yourself and be proud of the unique skin you're in"
"Peace and hair grease!"