I have vitiligo which is a skin disorder and this came with constant bullying and discrimination. I was a very confident child growing up and I never wanted to hide my skin, and by doing this I was exposed to all sorts of negativity, I remember an incident that took place when I was around 8, I was on holiday with my family and I was walking to the pool with my cousins and this group of older boys stopped, laughed and asked me if I had a bath in milo, I immediately told them off because I always defended myself but I remember going into the shower later that day and just crying and trying to scrub of my white patches, I was confident in the eyes of others but deep down all this really troubled me, Imagine everywhere you go people just stare at you in shock and disgust and you are just there pretending like you don’t notice, or when a child says loudly what is on her face you just have to walk away like nothing was said but in fact all this really affects you emotionally and it scars for life.
One of the days , or more like weeks I will never forget is when I was in high school grade 9 and a new teacher joined, she seemed very nice at first and then it just took an ugly turn, one day she started to ask me about treatment during our maths class and then began to yell at me saying that I must use make up and long-sleeved clothes to hide it and stay away from people because her vitiligo went worse from the time she started working here, I just stood there in shock trying my best to hold my tears back but no matter how confident I was this affected me badly that I started to not pay attention in class and ended up failing my maths exam, I never reported her or told anyone at home until one day we was asked to write a speech for English and I wrote a speech called my perfect imperfections where I spoke about my condition not being contagious and being accused of giving it to others I remember crying while reading it to my class.
I have lived my life with constant name calling like COW, PATCHES, WORLD MAP and some just so bad that I can’t even type it out, you would expect that as people grow up they will become mature and not pick on people but that was not the case, while doing my diploma I had some of the meanest things said to me, people say these things to try and be funny but they have no idea how it impacts a person, it breaks them down into a million pieces and makes them regret the way they are.
The discrimination seems to never end, the question is when will it stop?
I am being turned down and deprived of a job because people cannot see pass my skin, people are too obsessed with that perfect image to go along with a job title that they don’t give people the chance, it is sad that after spending time and money to achieve a qualification , we are being disadvantaged for being born different, my job situation took the biggest toll on me and I experienced a state of depression from the discrimination, that I have put on weight from stress eating, I try my level best to always look at the positivity in situations hence I started my own small home based business called M Delights where I make handcrafted chocolates, this keeps me busy so that I think less about all the rejections and negativity I have been receiving , and I will remain positive that a job will come when it is meant to be.
All the challenges I have faced in life make me who I am today and I cannot picture myself in any other way don’t get me wrong I have imagined how I would look fully brown or would people hire me then , but having vitiligo has made me look at life in an entirely different way it has shaped me into the person I am today, from a young age I would give advice to people who had and I would try to get them to not feel ashamed and embarrassed and now that we have social media I plan on doing the same thing at a bigger scale,
We all have flaws, so don’t bully someone just because theirs is visible, together we can change the way the world thinks, it starts with YOU.