Girl with vitiligo

Model Breanne Rice Speaks Up for Girls with Vitiligo

Model and nutritionist Breanne Rice was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was 19 years old. The condition rapidly spread, causing her to lose pigment in half of her face. Now she’s speaking up for girls with vitiligo, hoping to inspire others by taking off her makeup – and the world is listening. Just this week, she was featured in Teen Vogue, Self and Daily Mail, just to name a few.

Her story is inspiring girls around the world, and here’s why.

She’s not afraid to show her spots.

Breanne spent a decade hiding the spots on her face with foundation – a process that took 45 minutes each morning, according to her interview with Daily Mail. But today, she’s going make-up free to inspire other girls to accept their own spots – and her Instagram feed has the photos to prove it. She told Teen Vogue: “Taking off my makeup and coming forward with my story has given me a confidence that I have never had before. It’s allowed me to be confident and comfortable being myself, and I’ve accepted the fact that I have vitiligo.”

She’s found the courage to talk about being a girl with vitiligo.

Talking about your life with vitiligo is hard – it takes all of your insecurities and puts them on full display, open to judgement and criticism. Yet Breanne has made it her mission to share her story. Before her story went viral, Breanne had already taken to Instagram to share her experience with her followers. Most recently, the model explained her struggle with being in the sun on Instagram: “One of the hardest things about warm climates like this is making sure my vitiligo (which I only have on my face) doesn’t get extreme sun exposure. I have no pigment, so it will burn from sun exposure, which makes it quite painful and can be embarrassing at times. This also makes it very noticeable because I have an olive skin tone and it tans the areas around that have healthy pigment. This was hard to accept at first, but it’s what I have to do when the sun comes around.”

She knows happiness doesn’t come from looks.

We all know that happiness comes from within, and yet it’s something that is easier said than done. By taking off her makeup and learning to love her skin the way it is, Breanne is practicing what she preaches. In her interview with Teen Vogue, she says: “We are all uniquely beautiful, and I used to find my value and self-worth based on what I looked like. This is a recipe for disaster, and you’ll always be disappointed and never feel good enough. True confidence comes when you learn to love and accept yourself and your own uniqueness! When you learn to love how you were uniquely made and stop comparing yourself to others – it’s the best feeling in the world.”

She celebrates how unique she is.

“No one can be you but you. Embrace what makes you different and unique.” That’s Breanne’s message in one of her recent Instagram posts, encouraging other girls to celebrate their skin. You can only be the best version of yourself, and that’s something this model is taking to heart. In another post, she says: “It’s been a very long journey, but I’ve learned to love myself and not let something like this define whether I feel confident about myself and deem whether or not I’m beautiful. In all my years of living, I’ve learned that if you place your confidence and whether or not you feel beautiful based on an idea of (your own standard of) perfection or comparing yourself to someone else, you will always be unhappy. You can decide to be beautiful and confident because you’re YOU and you’re not supposed to be or look like anyone else.”

Photo by Breanne Rice.

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Erika Page

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.

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