An Interview with Lifestyle Blogger & Girl with Vitiligo Bing Belmes
Bing Belmes – she’s a style-savvy lifestyle blogger, mother and wife – and a girl with vitiligo. We sat down with her to see what life behind The Big Bing Theory is all about and how living with vitiligo has influenced her style today.
LD: When did you first get vitiligo?
BB: I started noticing spots eighteen years ago, but I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t even know this skin phenomenon existed. So I sought an expert’s advice and learned that it’s called vitiligo.
LD: Does your vitiligo bother you?
BB: It bothered me a lot at first. I used to have nightmares that I became all white. It never stopped me from feeling pretty, but I always felt the need to cover my spots. I bought all sorts of makeup, including foundation and concealer, and downloaded all sorts of apps to edit my photos in a way that would make my skin look even in photos.
Then I found Winnie Harlow, and she totally changed the way I look at my spots. She reinforced what my friends always tell me – that I am beautiful and that my personality is bigger than my spots. So now I call my spots my “unique beauty mark,” because they are making me beautifully different.
LD: Has living as a girl with vitiligo influenced your style?
BB: When I was in denial about my vitiligo, I stopped wearing short-sleeved tops, short pants and anything that showed my spots. But once I saw Winnie Harlow, I decided that I didn’t care anymore. Now I wear what I want to wear, no more hiding.
LD: How would you describe your style?
BB: Thrifty. When I shop, I go straight to the clearance or sale section of the store – I seldom buy non-sale items. There were a few times that I splurged a little, but only because I couldn’t find what I wanted on the sale aisle. My style is nothing special, I don’t have a signature style. My style is inspired by blogs and social media really. If there is something that I can call my own, it’s my love for converse shoes. I basically wear them with anything, anytime and anywhere.
LD: How did you decide to start your lifestyle blog, The Big Bing Theory?
BB: I’m a frustrated writer and photographer, I love clothes, and sometimes I have so many ideas that I feel like my social media friends will not understand if I post all of them on my wall or feed. Blogging gives me freedom to express myself, to write without being edited or criticized, and to take photos and write an article without having to worry about a deadline.
LD: What message do you want to leave your readers with?
BB: I just want to empower my readers, especially those who have vitiligo, to understand that there is so much more to life than vitiligo.
Photo by Bing Belmes via @bingyourstyle.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Her first spots appeared on her spine when she was seven years old and today vitiligo covers her entire body. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.