1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for a living, and what are your hobbies and interest?
My name is Prarthana and I’m from Bangalore, India. I’m 21 years old and currently studying for a Medical Electronics Engineering degree. I love makeup and fashion and I model part-time.
2. What is vitiligo and who gets it?
Vitiligo is the loss of the skin pigment ‘melanin’ over certain parts of the skin, thus appearing as white patches on the body. Anyone may get vitiligo, but it’s more obvious in melanated skin.
3. How long have you had Vitiligo and how has it impacted your life?
I’ve had vitiligo for about 11 years. At first, it was extremely hard to deal with as I was only a teenager. I used makeup to cover my flaws, but I was bullied in school for wearing makeup. It wasn’t an easy journey.
4. Have you learnt to embrace it, and if so, how?
Yes, I have learnt to embrace it. Everyone takes their own time to realise that our flaws set us apart from the rest of the world.
5. Do people stare at you on the street? Do you feel like you stand out in a good/ bad way?
People do stare but I don’t feel bad about it. They’re curious and I totally get that. I do look different and I do get stares because of it.
6. What advice would you give to other people who have Vitiligo and are afraid of what people might think of them?
I think people need to realise that our physical appearances do not make us or break us. Be true to yourself. Everyone has their own battles and will never understand your pain. Wear your flaws with honour. You are different and that is your superpower.
7. How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is definitely very basic. I like solid colours and classy pieces. I love to wear fashion that’s comfortable. I absolutely love jumpsuits. I think they are flattering on everyone.
8. Have you always been interested in fashion and makeup?
I was forced into makeup at the age of 11 when I got Vitiligo. I wasn’t ready to show my vitiligo just yet. It took me 8 years to perfect my makeup skills and I learnt to love it. Fashion has always been something I’ve loved. I loved shopping as a kid. Even then, I knew what went well together.
9. If you had to choose 3 makeup items, what would they be?
- Eyebrow pencil
- Liquid lipstick.
10. Does it take you longer to do your makeup because you have Vitiligo?
I used to cover my vitiligo with a heavy-duty concealer, which took about 30 minutes every day. But now that I’m unafraid of my Vitiligo protruding through my makeup, it barely takes me 10 mins.
11. Do brands embrace your skin condition?
I feel like the beauty industry is slowly shifting to realistic beauty standards.
12. Tips: When you have vitiligo
- Always wear sunscreen! It’s super important to protect the white patches as they’re very prone to sunburns!
- Work on the things that interest you, those which with you can escape the world.
- You have to remind yourself that you’re different. There’s no one else like you and that is your superpower!