“I’ve heard people call me ‘dalmation’, ‘cow’, ‘ghost face’. I’ve been asked if I tanned under a tree. I’ve had reactions like ‘what the hell is that’ or ‘ewww’,” explains Tiffany Posteraro.
The 24 year old from Brooklyn has faced taunts like this her entire life. She suffers from “vitiligo”, a skin condition which causes white patches to develop on her body due to a lack of melanin (the pigment that gives our eyes, skin and hair their colour).
“The staring has always been the most uncomfortable situation for me. Or when people would whisper about it ‘behind my back’ but really they were right in front of me. It made me feel different, weird, and less than them,” she says.
"I recently had someone move seats on the subway once they saw my spots. It made me embarrassed, sad, and ashamed. It's caused a great deal of insecurities for me, which I am still currently working out."
After spending years covering up her arms, legs, feet and face with “everything possible”, including “dark spray tans and industrial-strength foundation”, Posteraro decided she wouldn’t be shamed for her looks any longer.
She tattooed the phrase “It’s called Vitiligo” across a patch of splotched skin inside her left arm to give her the strength to accept her appearance and raise awareness for other sufferers. Yes, it’s beautiful.