What You Might Not Know about Girls with Vitiligo
Although Living Dappled just launched in June of this past year, I’ve been writing about girls with vitiligo for almost a year now. And after countless hours of typing, interviewing and researching, I’ve learned a thing or two about this particular group of women.
I first started writing in January of last year. Knowing that I was serious about turning Living Dappled into a blog, I would wake up in the early winter hours and type away with my morning cup of tea. As I wrote my own stories, I would sometimes cry as I reflected on the pain I had gone through because of my skin. Then I started reaching out to other girls with vitiligo, and I would cry tears of joy at knowing that I’m not alone as we shared stories back and forth. And today, after having met so many women with this skin condition over the past year, I can only cry because of how inspiring they truly are.
Here are just a few things I have learned about girls with vitiligo:
Girls with vitiligo are some of the strongest and most resilient
Not many people actually know the painful reality that comes with being stared at when you have vitiligo. Or when you’re called names. Or when you’re bullied. Or when you hate your own reflection in the mirror. It’s enough to grapple with the rest of the world looking at you like a freak, but sometimes you have to face your own inner voices too. And yet the girls with vitiligo that I’ve met in the past year are some of the girls I admire most. They’re strong, vivacious, beautiful women who are trying to make a difference and aren’t about to let a couple of spots – or a lot of spots – stop them.
They’re the kind of girls that people write about in magazines
News and magazine stories about girls with vitiligo filter into my inbox at least once a week. These girls with spots are the girls that get written about – the girls that have stories that need to be shared. Is that not amazing? It’s not every day that the girl next door makes it into Allure, People or Self. Nutritionist Breanne Rice was recently featured on Dr. Phil. And model Winnie Harlow is consistently in the news and was even part of H&M’s #LadyLike campaign. Now that’s newsworthy news.
They often have a unique perspective that makes them wise beyond their years
When you’ve faced something life-changing, you can’t help but walk away a different person. Girls with vitiligo are no exception. They’ve been faced with an unimaginable skin condition that changes their body in front of their eyes and they can’t do anything but watch. Yet they’ll tell you that it’s changed them for the better. In the past year, I’ve come to know inspiring women who know true beauty, who understand what it means to really live and who illustrate how confidence comes from within.
Needless to say, I’ve a forever fan of girls with vitiligo – and that’s why I love to call them “Dappled Darlings.”
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.