An Open Letter to the Girl with Vitiligo Struggling to Know Her Worth
To the girl with vitiligo struggling to know her worth:
My spots first appeared when I was just eight months old and spread rapidly to cover almost half of my body by the time I was four. It did have an effect on my confidence, but being upfront about it and telling people what it is helped a lot.
Dating wasn’t something I really thought much of in high school, but once I got to college that all changed. I started to be more interested in the world of dating. Along with that interest came some fear as well. What if they don’t think I’m pretty enough, what if they think I’m not interesting enough, and of course what if they think my skin is weird?
I had always been pretty confident in my skin, but if there’s anything that can shrink confidence, it’s dating. I always had to remind myself that if they don’t like me for something as trivial as the color of my skin, then I definitely didn’t want to have anything to do with them anyways. Luckily I was able to surround myself with people who were very supportive of me and my skin.
Today, I’m dating an amazing guy that I met at a vitiligo meet-up a few months back – he has vitiligo too! We both have a new appreciation for vitiligo because of one another and our connection. I feel like people with vitiligo automatically have a pretty strong bond, so it’s really special to be able to date someone else with it. We don’t always think about the fact that we have vitiligo – we even tend to forget about it from time to time, but it gives us a strong foundation. We know that we have both been through some of the same struggles.
The only thing that makes us remember our spots are the stares we get in public. That kind of shakes us back into reality. We get people staring at our intertwined hands when we walk down the street and we get people taking second glances at our faces, but honestly it doesn’t really bother us at this point. We know that we have each other to laugh it off with. Also one of the positives of us both having vitiligo is that I know to make him wear sunscreen on his depigmented spots no matter how much he doesn’t want to.
My advice to any girls out there with vitiligo who are dating is to just know your worth. Know that there are lots of awesome guys (or girls) out there who will accept you, vitiligo and all. If you try to hide it, it’s going to come out at some point, so it’s better to be upfront about it so that it doesn’t weigh on your mind throughout your relationship. The only people worth dating are the ones that can accept you for who you truly are.
Living Dappled is a blog for girls and by girls with vitiligo - and that means that guest and contributing bloggers are a big part of our voice within the vitiligo community. To submit a blog for consideration, use the "Contribute" form found at the bottom of our website.