For years, Christina Vavro, has been bullied, stared at, and questioned about her Vitiligo. She has been called “white legs” and “cow.” She has had many people ask her if she was burned or if the spots were a birthmark, but Christina never took it to heart. For Christina, it did not matter what people said because she loves it and that is all that matters.People have told her to wear pants and cover up because the spots on her legs are ugly. She has been living with Vitiligo for the past 10 years. As an 18 year old from Chandler, Arizona, she first noticed her Vitiligo when she was only 8 years old and had no idea what it was. Even though she was worried, her family remained very calm. They were determined to seek treatment at the Skin and Cancer Center in Chandler. Christina was prescribed creams to apply every day and night. Dismally, the treatment did not work for her.
Her first spots were around her eyes and on her legs. She used concealer, foundation, and self tanners to try and cover up the noticeable white patches but it didn’t feel right to her. She didn’t feel like herself. Christina is a strong, inspiring, and self-assured woman. Even being a teenager with Vitiligo, she remains her authentic self. Christina shared, “I was always a very confident person but I would look at other girls and remember how I had tan legs and no spots. Sometimes I would feel insecure about it but over the few years I have learned to love my spots. Now that i’m a little bit older, I find it unique and amazing to have something that people can ask me about.” She now finds the beauty in embracing her spots. “Growing up with vitiligo was never stopped me from being myself or going outside and exposing my skin.” Christina’s self love helped her get through the hardships of living with Vitiligo. “Accepting that I have Vitiligo has been the best thing I have ever done. It has helped me love who I am. It is a part of me that I would never take away.” Photos by Christina Vavro.
author Tiffany Grant @itscalledvitiligo.grant
I have been living with Vitiligo for 21 years. My first spots appeared on my knees at the age of 7. I decided to get the tattoo "It's called Vitiligo" a few years back to put a name to the disease and help educate others. Many sources, including Women's Health Magazine and the Daily Mail, shared my story around the world, spreading awareness and breaking down the stigma of living with Vitiligo. From Brooklyn, NY, I continue to advocate and raises awareness for Vitiligo.