By Rebecca Drew
MEET the stunning model learning to embrace her skin after the vitiligo she developed at just seven-years-old made her feel ashamed of herself.
When Raymar Acosta (26) from Venezuela, first noticed white patches on her skin at the age of seven, she thought it was only temporary like acne and would soon clear up. As she went into her teenage years her vitiligo spread further around her face, legs and hands which left her feeling self-conscious and ashamed of her appearance.
Raymar spent years hiding behind makeup and it wasn’t until her partner accidently saw her without makeup that she started to embrace her vitiligo.
“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 her family are proud of her for embracing her 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.
“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.
“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.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/acostaraymar