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Friday, April 28, 2023

Beautiful Vitiligo


Both my twins have Vitiligo, but only one has it in visible spots. He loves his skin. We have had people ask/give suggestion how to "cure" it (there is no "cure" and it doesn't hurt him)  but we've also had perfect strangers tell him how beautiful it is. He chooses to love it, and I am slightly envious of my 15 year old's confidence.

Growing up in the 90s spray tan/tanning salon era I was always deeply insecure about my very pale skin, especially since I wasn't the skinny girl. Porcelain skin in the 90s, and sometimes still, was beautiful only on the thin.

I had a cheerleading coach tell me to go tanning anytime we had to wear our white uniforms because "Tan fat looks better than white fat!"  Even though I knew this was an awful thing to say to a teen, it has always stuck with me.

I thought I made peace with the fact that I'm never ever ever going to be tan, even embraced my pale skin for a long time, but sometimes those old insecurities can come bite you when you least expect it. This summer I suddenly became I insecure about my paleness again. I'm good and working through it (this is not a solicitation for compliments on my skin tone!!) but just know words matter, especially to teenagers.  

I saw Isaac light up when a stranger complimented his vitiligo. Teens hear what we say and can make it part of their identity.  I was so scared it would make him insecure like I am, but we choose to see it as beautiful and unique, so he does too.

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