My Story: Once Vitiligo Was A Nightmare For Me, Now Its My Face Of Confidence

Image Credits: Aastha Shah

My Story: 'Once Vitiligo Was A Nightmare For Me, Now It's My Face Of Confidence'

An eyeful and adroit digital content creator, Aastha Shah has marked her presence in social media owing to her courage and sagacity. Afflicted by vitiligo at a young age, the ailment turned out to be a blessing in disguise, extending to her new dimensions of self-acceptance and enthralling confidence.

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I was 8 years old when I was first got diagnosed with vitiligo. I remember falling while playing, and a white patch appeared right after. We visited the doctor, and he just gave us some creams to apply. Dad thought there was something else to this, so he went home and googled it We found out its vitiligo.

The next day we barged into the doctor's cabin, asking him why he didn't tell us about it? He just said, 'I know how parents react when their child gets vitiligo'.

Coping With Challenges

We tried all kinds of medications like homoeopathy, allopathy, naturopathy, UV rays, etc. My childhood was going to school, visiting doctors and then coming home and sleeping. I was not allowed to go out in the sun at all. People used to give me blank stares in public. In school, I did get a lot of hate comments like 'Dalmatian Dog', 'Half Indian, Half American', and 'I won't sit next to you in the exam because you have disgusting skin'. I didn't even have many friends because external looks mattered the most for everyone.

All of this shattered my confidence. I used to cry and ask myself, why me? Why did I have to go through this?

My dad used to tell me every night before sleeping, 'don't care about outer beauty because the day you become successful in life, no one's going to care about how you look.'

At the age of 14, I went up to my dad and told him that I can't do this anymore, I want to stop all the medications and daily doctor visits and that's when I started living a happy life. I started focusing more on myself and my career. I remember having coke for the first time because earlier, I had so many restrictions, it felt amazing. My mom would encourage me to wear shorts and sleeveless clothes and flaunt my patchy skin.

My family supported me throughout and never made me feel different. This is why I am so strong and confident today. A little love is all we need.

When I was 21 years old, the white pigmentation naturally spread all over my body.

Over the years, I realised that focusing on yourself and ignoring other people's opinions is the key to growth. It's never that easy to accept yourself the way you are, but once you do it, there's no stopping. You don't need anyone's validation in this world, just be yourself.

Journey As A Content Creator

It has always been my dream to inspire multiple people globally. Initially, I was hesitant but I made my profile public on Instagram in 2019. I started receiving messages saying, 'My mom puts hot wax on my patches thinking it will get cured', 'my family won't let me pursue my dreams until I cure vitiligo', and 'my parents and friends don't take me out because they feel ashamed of me'. All these messages broke my heart. People don't understand that vitiligo can affect someone psychologically, so you should be there for that person instead of abandoning them.

This encouraged me to create motivational content around vitiligo to spread awareness. I started making reels about it, people reacted to it in good and bad ways.

Vitiligo is beautiful and I wear it proudly. Perfection is found in accepting your imperfections. It's easy to say this, but I know how tough it is to accept yourself the way you are. Society has its own definition of 'perfect' and 'beautiful', but you must ignore it all and define it on your own. You may have many rough patches throughout your journey, but use your weakness as your strength and show the world you're no different. Flaunt your flaws effortlessly.

If you, too, have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com

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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Tashafi Nazir