BAVEESHA NARAN | My VITILIGO campaign
Photography by Kashmira Naran
Story by Baveesha Naran
Story by Baveesha Naran
MY STORY | Living with Vitiligo has been tough for me. I had vitiligo since I was in school, hid it through school and all through my working career. I’ve always tried every means possible to hide and cure it. I’ve spent thousands of rands on different treatments. One day it finally clicked that there is no cure, just temporary fixes, and that eventually all that has covered, will return. This fight to cover and cure was a losing battle for me.
A friend motivated me to start taking a series of baby steps , ... “why don’t you just loose the makeup, than tie you hair up and lastly wear shorts one day.” That stuck and made me think, it was simplified, it made sense and seemed so do-able.
I started this journey very slowly in 2013, stopped applying makeup when going to malls, then moved on to visiting friends and family members with no makeup, and finally went to work all natural. Wow that feeling was so incredible, I had done it !!! I was so proud of myself.
At that point the easy part was over, than it was time to show my legs … SHEW, that was scary to a new level. I was petrified. On so many occasions I would have a dress or shorts on and just before I had to leave the house, I’d run upstairs and change. I knew I had to get pass that hurdle, took 6 months of motivating myself, before I finally had the courage in Clarens. In Clarens I did a mountain bike race and there I wore shorts for the very first time. I remember praying the night before for strength and courage to take what I knew was the biggest step of my lifetime. I woke up with a will to overcome, I felt beautiful and knew today was the day. Wore my shorts and got out there. Some people looked, but of course they would, I am unique. If I saw something unique I would so sneak a peak myself. What surprised me is that, no one said a word to me, no one laughed , no one stared, actually no one CARED. So what was I worried about… I realized that everything I worried about came from me, MY ASSUMPTIONS, MY FEARS and MY INSECURITIES. I built this wall in front of me and I had to start taking it down, one brick at a time.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLE WITH VITILGO, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
My biggest struggle was that I could not see beauty when I looked into the mirror, I didn't see myself as normal, I only saw flaws. I saw two toned skin, I saw my out of shape body, I saw hair i didn't like,I saw nothing positive.
I overcame this when I was introduced to Instagram, and discovered Profiles such as @winnieharlow, @iamdjhalf and @spottiingbeauty. On these profiles I saw people with Vitiligo living normal lives, I was amazed and addicted, they wore anything and everything, they
looked free, happy and normal. This helped me change my perception of what i deemed NORMAL. It excited me and I knew I’d be doing that soon, just living and enjoying this life I’ve been gifted with.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS OR MOTIVATIONS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH ALL