- For 15 good years, Carlen John hid her white patches for fear of being disrespected and looked down upon by those who did not understand her condition
- She suffers from what experts call vitiligo, which explains the white patches on her beautiful black skin
- Back in school, they bullied her, called her weird names, and probably thought she will never amount to something worthy of admiration. Then she unleashed her hidden beauty
A woman who once avoided appearing in public and social places at all cost is the new hottest model on the runway. Her natural beauty speaks for itself. But it’s been a gruelling journey of self-acceptance and attitude change for this black beauty.
Carlene John was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 11. This, experts say, is a condition that causes the skin to develop white patches.
As she was growing up, her unique look attracted cruel ridicule and bullies. Some even branded her as a ‘cow’. Others called her ‘Dalmatian’, which is a breed of a large dog with a skin dotted in black and white.
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She says at some point in her life, she attempted to get rid of the white spots on her skin by colouring them with a black pen, so that she could look normal and stop the bullies. This torment had to come to an end.
Carlene, now 26, decided that she was going to accept herself and ignore whoever thought she was not beautiful. She started by doing away with the make ups, then showing off her skin in professional photo shoots and catwalk shows. She probably did not know how this was likely to change her life and her ‘public image’.
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“As a model, I never thought I would be able to show my patches on my face. I thought I would have to conceal my white patches all the time. That was until a friend told me to embrace my look,” says Carlene.
She took the friend's advice and hit the runways with it. She embraced her natural beauty.
“I practically took over the runway. At first I thought I looked ugly because of my vitiligo, but people told me I was outstanding. They said I was the most beautiful thing on earth, and I started believing it,” says Carlene.
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Prior to this transformation, Carlene was living in constant fear that people would always look at her and pass negative judgement. But things have since changed. Now, people still look at her, but they pass positive judgement.
Her self-confidence and esteem, she says, has grown remarkably. This, perhaps, serves as a lesson to those men and women who think they are not beautiful because of some disability or condition, which are not their faults. Carlene is a leaving proof that everyone is special in a unique way.
Watch video of a woman suffering from vitiligo: