Tell your story, make a difference
Those of us on the inside of the “vitiligo community” know only too well how profoundly the loss of normal skin colour can affect a person. We know all the ways, great and small, that the condition impacts on our daily life, on our confidence and even on our sense of self. We understand the feelings of isolation and vulnerability that come with having a highly visible difference in our appearance, especially as this difference often invites casual curiosity and rarely meets with genuine understanding or empathy. We share a sense of frustration that a disorder shared by roughly one person in every hundred around the world is still so under-publicised and poorly recognised. For this reason, I am always happy to come across serious media interest that seeks to dispel the almost universal ignorance that exists about #vitiligo and its effects.
Who fancies a Knickerbocker Glory?
This week I received an email from a #television production company here in the UK called Knickerbockerglory which is currently (summer 2016) in the process of producing a powerful documentary series aimed at challenging people’s #preconceptions about various topical social issues. One of the programmes in the series will look at facial differences using first-person testimony to explain the impact of this on people's lives. The company would like to include someone who has facial vitiligo in order to raise understanding and awareness about the skin condition and also expel the stigma and stereotyping that so often comes with it.
If you feel that you might be willing to take part but want reassurance that the programme would handle you and the subject matter sensitively I would encourage you to watch the first film in this series, My Name Is… and I’m An Alcoholic, which was screened in January for Channel 5 and received outstanding reviews from both viewers and the recovery community alike.
If you take a look at that programme (just click on the highlighted programme title link above) I am sure you will agree with me that this format offers an extremely insightful and effective way, not simply of educating viewers about what vitiligo is, but of helping them get "inside the skin" of the vitiligo sufferer and appreciate what it is like to deal with the condition on a daily basis.
So, if you have vitiligo on your face and would like to discuss the possibility of participating in this programme please email Suki on: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 740 6300.
I know that it takes a tremendous amount of courage to do something like this but it is an amazing opportunity and I really think it will make a difference to how vitiligo is perceived and understood.
Don't forget World Vitiligo Day is June 25th
And what better time to do something proactive to raise awareness since next Saturday is World Vitiligo Day 2016? Whether or not TV appearances are for you, I hope you will find some way of getting the word out about vitiligo in your community or further afield. I, for one, am hoping that the requests so many of us sent in over the past few months to the #GoogleDoodle team to mark the day with one of their famous doodles will have paid off because the effects of this would be massive. But if not, we will certainly keep pushing for next year!
My name is Caroline.