Model who hid her vitiligo for years has finally learned to embrace her condition
When 26-year-old Raymar Acosta first noticed white patches on her skin when she was seven, she assumed that they were something temporary, like acne, and would soon clear up. However, as she went into her teenage years, her vitiligo continued to spread further around her face, legs and hands, leaving her feeling self-conscious and ashamed of how she looked.
After spending years hiding behind makeup, Raymar's partner accidentally saw her without her makeup on and told her that she should embrace her condition.
"I was seven years old when this started and at that time it was not so noticeable, it started by my mouth and then by my eyelids," she said;
"I was just a girl, so I thought maybe it would be something temporary like when you get acne on your face. Other people didn't seem to pay much attention to it either.
"When I became a teenager, I already had more spots on my legs and on my face and I started to feel ashamed of myself because appearance was more important for me."
"As a teenager I didn't want anyone to see me as I really was and at eighteen I had a friend who saw me without makeup by accident and he did not care.
"He became my partner and seeing that he didn’t care made me feel comfortable with myself and his friends also welcomed me and took away the embarrassment I felt."
Raymar has non-segmental vitiligo and she says that her family are proud of her for eventually learning to embrace the condition.
"My family felt very happy for me and the fact that I no longer feel ashamed of myself and that I have accepted me as I am, my friends were also happy about this and they also supported me," she added.
She is hoping that through her modelling, she will be able to inspire people who also have the condition. For Raymar, putting herself in the spotlight is a way of showing that we should love ourselves, no matter what our appearance is.
"I would like all people who have this disease to think that despite living in a world that thrives on appearances and what is beautiful today, tomorrow and vice versa, the most important thing is to feel good about ourselves.
"Pleasing others is difficult and to please everyone is impossible, that’s why it’s better and easier to accept ourselves as we are."
The model hopes that through accepting herself, other people will also accept her condition and the taboo around conditions such a vitiligo will lessen.
"When we accept ourselves we will reflect that to the world and then the world will accept us.
"If we please ourselves, we will feel better and that will give us the strength to overcome it and so others will accept us."
Fair play to Raymar for learning to accept, and embrace, the body that she was given - she looks great!