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WHAT SELF LOVE MEANS TO OUR WOMEN WITH VITILIGO

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What Self Love Means to Our Women with Vitiligo

 Posted on 5th March 2024  5 minute read

In a world where society places pressure and external expectations on looking a particular way, it’s no wonder we have to bring so much emphasis and focus around self-love and the importance of unapologetically being ourselves. It has become a symbol of empowerment as we continue to embody a sense of appreciation for how we value ourselves and most importantly, our uniqueness. As we head into the month of March, we asked some of the wonderful women in the vitiligo community what self-love means to them and how they have made a conscious effort to prioritise their well-being and inner growth…

Lid’Ya C Rivera – Author & Vitiligo Advocate

I start each day by looking at myself in the mirror and celebrating the reflection looking back at me. This is more than a daily routine; it’s a deeper connection into my story of becoming and loving all of me. 

My self-love journey has taught me an important lesson and that’s the true beauty of who we are goes way beyond our own skin, it is our personal journeys and experiences that truly shape us and where our real beauty lies.

What is self-love? For me, it’s a bold, radical act of embracing who we are; flaws, spots, and all. It’s about celebrating every part of yourself, even the ones society may label as “imperfect.” It’s boldly saying, “This is me, and I’m beautiful just the way I am.” It’s about loving every bit of yourself, the so-called flaws included, because that’s what makes you, you.

In a society where there’s so much pressure to match a specific beauty ideal, choosing to love my spots is like declaring my own independence. It’s a bold affirmation of self-acceptance and an ode to standing out. I’m not here to blend in; in fact, showing off my vitiligo feels like my own little revolution. It’s my way of saying “I love me just the way I am” loud and proud! No more hiding—just flaunting those beauty marks! Each spot is a little piece of my story, a testament to staying true to who I am.

Loving what you see in the mirror with love should be a daily power move. It’s a way of challenging the societal norms and rewriting our own rules of beauty. It’s a daily reminder that your worth isn’t tied to how well you fit in, but in the courage to stand out!

Sharing my vitiligo journey isn’t just for me, it’s about lighting up the way for others to love themselves hard, embrace their own kind of beautiful, and find the comfort in being unapologetically themselves. When we own our stories and love ourselves for real, that’s when we become truly unstoppable.

My advice, be wise of the tribe you choose. I’ve learned that surrounding myself with people who see beyond appearances, who celebrate my uniqueness, and who stand by me no matter is important on my self-love journey. 

More importantly, embracing my vitiligo has taught me that my journey is not just about me, it’s about empowering others to love themselves fiercely, too. Through my journey, I hope to inspire others to embrace their own uniqueness, to love themselves fiercely, and to see the beauty in what makes them different.

Jana De Vliegher – Artist & DJ

Self-love is the art of nurturing your own well-being and embracing yourself, with all your strength and vulnerability, and that’s where vitiligo comes into the picture for me. For years, I struggled with immense insecurity and relying heavily on camouflage makeup to cover my white patches. It wasn’t until the pandemic and the loss of a loved one that my eyes were opened and I realised life is too short to be insecure about our appearance. 

In 2021, I decided to embrace and publicly share my Vitiligo on social media, a tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I now genuinely love being unique and the most beautiful part is that I can inspire others to do the same. After all, we are all unique! 

So, self-love is for me a journey of growth, acceptance, and finding inner peace.

Natalie Ambersley – Trustee & Vitiligo Advocate

These days, Self-Love can feel like a buzz word that rings pretty loudly in our ears and immediately makes us want to hug ourselves protectively whilst reminding ourselves of the importance of being kinder to ourselves. Yet, despite its daily use it can’t be underestimated just how important self-love is.

To me, self-love is the ultimate act in appreciating and accepting who we are both internally and externally. It’s about having a deeper relationship with yourself that enables you to understand who you are whilst being fully committed to nurturing and protecting our physical, mental and emotional health.

Self-Love is a journey of discovery, reflection on our past selves and understanding how we, as individuals navigate day to day life. It takes looking at ourselves as a whole and continuously questioning who we are in the current, recognising our growth and having a sense of gratitude for who are both past and present.

Setting boundaries is an important aspect of self-love and shows a strong form of respect for ourselves, whilst recognising what we are willing to tolerate from others. Affirming my inherent value, not seeking external validation and celebrating my uniqueness with authenticity and joy is me giving myself permission to truly accept who I am.

Zitlali Garayzar – Vitiligo Model

I must say that the path has not been easy but accepting myself as I am and realizing that I am worthy and valuable is the first step to being happy and sharing my happiness with the people I love. 

I think that for me self-love is knowing that I am the most important thing and my feelings are just as important as anyone else’s. Seeing that each person is special is the key to my daily life and I believe it is the way I can incorporate self-love into my life. Everyone is perfect in their imperfection!

Sonya Danita Charles – Body Positivity Activist, Advocate & Model

Self-love to me is a profound acceptance and appreciation for oneself, recognising intrinsic values and uniqueness. It involves cultivating a positive relationship with my own mind and body. Personally, I integrate self-love into my life through mindfulness practices, allowing me to be present in each moment and fostering a deeper connection with myself. Positive affirmations play a crucial role as well, while affirming my strengths and embracing my imperfections without harsh judgment. Additionally, establishing healthy boundaries is essential, as it enables me to prioritise my well-being and protect my mental and emotional space. This combination of mindfulness, positive affirmations, and boundaries creates a foundation for a more compassionate and fulfilling relationship with myself.

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