This International Women’s Day 2021, we have collaborated with some inspiring women who all have vitiligo. It can sometimes be lonely or isolating with vitiligo, but it’s important to recognise that there are so many of us who all have vitiligo and similar vitiligo stories.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #ChooseToChallenge. There is lots of discussion about this hashtag on social media today and over the coming weeks, and it’s the perfect time for us to #ChooseToChallenge peoples’ views on vitiligo. There is so much mis-information about what vitiligo is. I’ve even experienced people asking me if they can catch vitiligo from me! If you have vitiligo or another visible difference, choose to challenge peoples’ perspectives of skin conditions and visible differences this International Women’s Day by posting some facts about your skin condition, like vitiligo. I'll be posting about and tagging some inspiring women who have vitiligo.
For International Women's Day this year, I spoke to Mehak, Sappir, Joti, Natalie, Hanni, Anita and Albany about their favourite inspiring quotes, and I’m delighted to share their beautiful photos and quotes below.
“Make your spots, scars, birthmarks and other visible differences shine BRIGHT. Sometimes, all you need is to make your insecurities your greatest power.”
“It took me 20 years to accept myself and love myself, and once that happened, I realised I did not need anyone’s approval regarding my special appearance. I love and accept myself as I am and it is a victory for me.”
“To all the beautiful women all around the world; do not ever forget this… Be Seen, Be Heard, Be You. Never be ashamed of who are you and where you come from and keep striving for what you believe in.”
Natalie said that the way women are supporting, encouraging and empowering each other in recent years is awe-inspiring. She feels incredibly lucky and honoured to be part of a community where a strong sense of ‘togetherness’ exists. There is extreme pressure to look and ‘fit’ in amongst societal ‘norms’, however, the vitiligo community continue to remind Natalie that we can be ourselves with grace and be proud of who we are, in both past and present. One of Natalie’s favourite quotes is from Brene Brown: “one day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.” Natalie said, “It’s words like this that remind me of my purpose and why I’m proud that I do what I do.”
“Just because you don’t fit society’s standards of beauty, doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. You are beautiful in all of your ways.”
“The secret of change is focusing all our energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
“I have been gifted a new set of eyes in which to see this world, and my Vitiligo is my super power! Perspective is everything.”
I really hope these quotes inspire you just as much as they did me. I absolutely loved reading them; they’re so empowering and remind us just how important it is to talk to each other about vitiligo and share our vitiligo stories to keep raising awareness of visible differences and skin conditions.