Océane, a 25-year-old from Reunion Island suffering from vitiligo: “I never wanted to make it an illness or hide”

Océane, a 25-year-old from Reunion Island suffering from vitiligo: “I never wanted to make it an illness or hide”
Océane, a 25-year-old from Reunion Island suffering from vitiligo: “I never wanted to make it an illness or hide”

As part of World Vitiligo Day, Océane, a 25-year-old from Reunion Island suffering from vitiligo, spoke about this disease which is not one for her.

“I never wanted to make it an illness, hide or wear foundation” explains Océane. Originally from Le Port, the 25-year-old young woman has lived her entire life with vitiligo, an autoimmune disease characterized by depigmentation of the skin.

“When I was young, it was complicated, between the school harassment and the criticism which is quite harsh when you are young, it was not easy. As I grew up, it calmed down and I also accepted what I was, I made a strength of it” testifies Océane.

“It’s always a bit complicated when we go shopping or in other public places especially with children, it can be a bit embarrassing” explains the young woman, while understanding since she herself is the mother of a little boy. “Children don’t always understand and ask questions innocently.” Diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 4, today Océane fully embraces this difference which is now “more of an asset than a flaw” as she says.

“We must make it a strength and a quality, not a fault or a weakness. When I was young, I was a photo model, which proves that in no case is vitiligo a hindrance in life. We are different from others and that’s an advantage for us, certainly it’s not easy when you’re younger, but you have to live for yourself and not put any barriers in place.” she explains.

“What is accessible for those who do not have it and just as accessible for those who have it” confides the young woman. “The people who love us see us without stains”expresses Océane before adding, “If you accept yourself, the acceptance of others is not important.”

Also read: World Vitiligo Day: Symptoms, causes and treatments

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