I loved reading magazines about the entertainment world. What Bow Wow does right now—that’s what I wanted to do.
Even as a little girl, my mom never wanted me to watch BET, but when I was at my grandparents’ house, and my older cousins were there and I could watch it, I was infatuated with the idea that I could one day be a DJ or the host of a show.
focusses on people with a variety of concealable medical conditions navigating the dating world, and is part of the growing trend of faux-inspiration television that rely on us buying into society’s outdated notions of the "proper way to be".
Earlier this year in May, I too was approached for the same show, found due to an essay I wrote about my experiences with vitiligo.
But if a job wanted me to, say, try a smoky eye and cover the vitiligo around my eye, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. My lips are not naturally purple.” They did alter it, but it’s not that big of a deal. It wasn’t so much a conscious effort of me trying to see it as something beautiful, but more so accepting myself for the way that I am.
Not to say that it’s a positive or a negative, but just to say it’s me, and I love me, so everyone else is going to have to deal with it. I almost never realize it unless someone’s being super obnoxious and directly staring at me long enough for me to catch their eye. I know what I look like, so I know what people are looking at, but it just doesn’t faze me.
Your body is beginning to change from a child's into the body of the man or woman you will become as an adult.
I was curious about the offer to be part of what was described as an educational and uplifting documentary casting its second season, but during the phone conversation it appeared to be the case that they wanted to tell a story of me from a starting point of insecurity, self-doubt, and struggle.
Those who fall even somewhat outside the boundaries of “normal” are automatically assumed to secretly carry the weight of shame with regard to their appearance, and through these shows we engage in a public demonstration of pity – urging them to love because they are “deserving” and “inspiring” rather than just fellow humans.
It is these attitudes that make a production company approach me despite my essay having spoken about the assumption that my vitiligo makes me inherently ugly and requires someone special to look past it.
You may think that vitiligo is the first thing about you that other people notice. Did you ever think that features your friends dislike about themselves are often things you never notice?
Growing up she was called names like zebra, cow or penguin.
If other people have already judged you as not worthy, the only option is that you must be in denial.