May 24, 2024

Vitiligo is not something that needs ‘vanquishing’

By dictionary definition the term literally means to conquer an enemy in battle. “Vitiligo does not fit into either of those categories. It is not something that needs to be diminished, squashed, or anything that anyone should be afraid of. It’s not the bad guy in some movie, it’s something that 1% of the world’s population lives with,” Georgia adds.

For anyone with a skin condition, messaging like this reinforces what archaic beauty standards have been: that any uniqueness should be smoothed over, and hidden. It’s up to those in the beauty industry to push against this, and help shift negative attitudes to ones of acceptance.

Georgia believes that “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being someone who prefers to cover up their patches – I’ve done it myself many times – but it becomes a huge issue when beauty brands are enforcing the idea, and are telling people with the skin condition that they should ‘defeat’ it entirely. That’s a message enough to make even the most confident person with it feel like shrivelling up. ”

Jackie McDonald, the Cocreator of Vitiligo Vanish (VV), spoke with GLAMOUR saying, “I have had vitiligo for 28 years. I think it is important to embrace all views and awareness around vitiligo, and also the different options we have to choose from in terms of treatments and in camouflages.   It was originally called Vitiligo Vanish as that is what happens when you apply it… The vitiligo appears to vanish. ”

Jackie continues: “We were starting production and calling it “VV” for short. The legal department found a copyright on the word vanish for certain cosmetics. We needed to come up with a similar word starting with the letter V this is how it was named Vitiligo Vanquish, mostly everyone including myself refer to it as ‘VV’. ”

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being someone who prefers to cover up their patches, but it becomes a huge issue when beauty brands are enforcing the idea, and are telling people with the skin condition that they should ‘defeat’ it entirely. ”

Jackie says that the product came to being after accidentally dropping some furniture stain “on one of my spots I noticed when wiping off that stain, my vitiligo appeared to vanish. ” Adding that “It looked exactly like my pigmented skin. I then spent the next 20 years trying to create a non-toxic stain for depigmentation. I altered a Fake Bake product, came up with a delivery system, and added blue drops to tone and black drops to darken so it would be useful for any person of any skin colour if they chose to use it. ”

Jackie says the name does “absolutely not meant to offend,» and that «it is simply an option for those who have depigmentation and desire uniform pigment colour,either on occasion, or on a regular basis. Our customers are very happy it exists, and we are aware of and very supportive of the vitiligo communities. ”

Georgia has had vitiligo since she was four and whilst she’s come to terms with it being part of who she is, advertising like this has thrown her off, “It’s coming across as yet another way to pray on people’s insecurities and make money from it. ”

So, let’s all remember this: skin is an organ, the biggest we have. It is as unique as the person it covers, and there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ or ‘imperfect’ – all there is, is you. Whether it’s eczema, psoriasis, acne or vitiligo, the choice it yours when it comes to using makeup or not. One thing’s for certain, it doesn’t need vanquishing.

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