Of course by now y'all know that infamous Try video clip by Colbie Caillat. The moment I hit play and listen to her beautiful voice, I was filled with all of these emotions when I listened to the lyrics and saw the video. At the end, I was in tears.
I was diagnosed with vitiligo when I was in 5th grade. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was in 5th grade. I start wearing glasses in 5th grade. I start having bad zits in 5th grade.
Pretty much 5th grade was the turning point.
But I am pretty much one of those kids that don't really care about my appearance... even up until High School. I had friends who cared about me the way I look. The way I was/am.
Unfortunately someone in the close started bringing up my flaws.
"Let's find a great make-up line to cover your vitiligo"
"Stand up straight so you look taller"
"I hope one day someone will love you/marry you even though you have those white spots in your skin"
"Put some make up on so people don't stare at your white spots"
The lists goes on and on...
My vitiligo gotten worse during college. I started to get more self-conscious. I had years of trials and errors finding the right hue of foundation to cover up my white spots. I always feel like people are staring at me all the time because of my vit.
I spent years during my teens and college years never swim in public pools or beaches. I just stay on the side, just getting my feet wet, wearing clothes that cover my blotches. I was afraid for being judged as a freak.
When my last relationship before Rob ended, that person said, "I hope he didn't break up with you because of your skin"
I felt humiliated and insulted.
Until I started dating Rob. I decided to be honest and told him in the beginning of our relationship that I have vitiligo. He didn't seem to care. He never brought up my skin condition. He never made fun of me or tell me that I need to put some make up on to cover it up.
All he said was, "It doesn't bother me. All I want is for you to be happy."
He actually asked me what do I wear big glasses because it's nerdy. He made me laugh and I said, "Nerdy is my style"
I asked about my skin condition a couple of times during our relationship. I even asked, "Do you love me even though I have these weird spots on my body?" And he said, "Of course I love you. Why do you even asked?"
And yes, that's why I'm with him. That's why I love him. He loves me the way I am.
And that's when I started to not really care what others think.
I slowly stop wearing my cover up make up (only wearing it when I'm going to church or important events. Indonesians are very nosey & it gets annoying). I started swimming in public wearing a bathing suit/bikini. On days off, I just bare face and hit my local Fresh & Easy market in a messy bun. On work days, I just wear my usual Mac powder, eyeliner and mascara & lip balm. Simple and sweet. No cover up make up.
And with this heavy load of my chest, I feel free. I feel liberated. I feel happy. I feel like being the Real Me.
With my spots showing, I actually started educating people when they ask. I had patients who has vitiligo without knowing what it is asked me about it. I am now proud of my white spots. They are part of me. They are me.
Funny thing is that thanks to social media (esp. Instagram), I feel more empowered and proud to share and educate people around me about vitiligo. I follow several instagram users/groups and see how I am not alone. All of these beautiful people with vitiligo are out there & live normal lives. And I know one particular model right now is totally rocking her vit, Winnie Harlow. She is bringing vitiligo out there and making it gosh-smacking-known to the public eye. Oh and of course the beloved late Michael Jackson (there are actually many more celebs with vitiligo)
If it wasn't for Rob, I would probably still be shy, embarrassed, even ashamed about myself. To have someone who loves you just the way you are is a huge blessing. Not only that, I have friends, family and coworkers who look beyond my white patches and just literally love me the way I am.
Hence, I'm not trying so hard anymore.