Erika Page is the founder and editor-in-chief of Living Dappled, a lifestyle blog for girls and by girls with vitiligo. When she’s not blogging, she’s doing creative communications for a living, taking classes because she can, and meeting friends for weekend brunch.
When I started creating Living Dappled a lifestyle blog for girls with vitiligo, I struggled with the message I wanted to send. Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes you to lose pigment and get white patches across your body. With no cure, those with vitiligo often have to face a life with it – one that can be filled with social anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. With that in mind, my goal was to create an uplifting space for girls to share everyday life with the condition. But was I ready to tell girls that they should “love their spots”? Did I even love my own spots? And what does loving your spots even mean? These were the questions that filled my mind as I began writing, struggling to find the words that would reflect the message in my heart. After serious soul-searching, my conclusion was simple –you don’t have to love your life with spots, you just have to own it.
Here’s the difference. Loving your spots is something that sounds impossible to most girls who are steeped in social anxiety and struggle with even liking their bodies. It’s a long-term plan – something that will take months or years to achieve, if you ever can.Owning your spots, on the other hand, is easier. It’s actionable – it’s about taking control of your life with spots today, one step at a time. And you can start today.
Owning your spots is about embracing the fact that you have a skin condition. Saying the words out loud. Writing them down. Sharing your story with other girls with vitiligo. Using the hashtag #vitiligo on your Instagram posts. Talking about your emotions and letting the people in your life know how you feel.
Owning your spots is about actively working towards a better day. Starting a happiness journal to build a habit of gratitude in your life. Recognizing negative thoughts in your head and replacing them with positive ones. Finding a wardrobe that works for you and helps you
Owning your spots is about pushing yourself to grow. Trying on shorts. Wearing a dress on a hot day. Posting a Facebook photo that shows your skin. Stepping onto the beach in a bikini. Pursuing the job or hobby you’ve always wanted by were too scared to try because of your skin. Finding the strength to smile when people stare.
Owning your spots is about asking for help when you need it. Realizing that there is a vitiligo community ready to love you. Reaching out to other girls with vitiligo. Getting involved in local vitiligo support groups. Supporting vitiligo research centers and organizations.
No matter what struggle you’re facing, you can take control and do something about it – you can own it. And one day, owning it just might lead to you loving your life with it.
And that is what ‘living dappled’ is all about.
To visit Erica’s blog click here.