Breanne Rice shares her struggles with Vitiligo
Former Bachelor contestant and model Breanne Rice has started a campaign promoting self-love after sharing her decade-long struggles with Vitiligo. The disease causes loss of skin color in blotches, and there is no cure.
Rice described Vitiligo as “an autoimmune disease where your body essentially attacks its skin’s pigment and leaves you having random loss of skin color in blotches.” She was diagnosed when she was 19 and kept it a secret from everyone except her parents for 10 years.
At 19, I was diagnosed with vitiligo, and it spread rapidly causing me to lose over half of the pigment on my face. Yeah. Not the bottom of my foot or my arm..but ONLY on my face. I got really good at doing my makeup, and I didn’t want anyone to know about it. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying, and feeling unattractive. When I am exposed to the sun, it tans my healthy skin and leaves my vitiligo even more noticeable. It’s taken me a very long time to be able to go public with this, and to walk around publicly without any makeup. Why? Because it’s my face. Although I would like to say I am super confident and it never gets to me, sometimes it does. Some days people make comments saying “what happened to your face?!” Sometimes if I have a crush on someone I am worried about them seeing me without makeup and worry that they won’t think I’m cute. It’s like ohh hey by the way..this is the real me underneath all this. You know what though, I own it. There’s not much I can do about it. I can only love myself, and not let my circumstances define my value or self-worth. What is the definition of beautiful anyway? Is it being perfect? What do you see when you look in the mirror? Perhaps you have a circumstance or something about yourself that you are insecure about. Don’t let it define you. You deserve love, and you are beautiful 💗 #vitiligo #beauty #perfect #seattle #health #holistic #nutrition #inspire #encourage #love #selfworth #loveyourself #digestion #autoimmune #vitiligoselfie #vitiligolove #vitiligobeauties #healing #healthyskin #skin #pigment #inspiring #inspirational #vitiligo #love #selflove #beauty
“To be honest, it was pretty devastating to my self-esteem, and I wouldn’t go outside without makeup on or sunglasses. I lived in fear and was constantly worried by the fact that it could spread to other areas of my body at any time,” Rice explained in one Instagram post about the disease. “It took me a long time to feel confident enough to be able to be public with it, and accept that I don’t have perfectly pigmented skin.”
At a certain point, she decided to not only stop hiding her Vitiligo but to embrace her disease and how it has changed her life in order to help people work through their securities. “For me, it allowed me to know that although I’ve been through some things, my situation can somehow help other people and other women. I can’t change my circumstances, but I can change my attitude and how I view this situation,” she wrote. And her comments on beauty standards are absolutely perfect. “Everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. Being beautiful does not mean you are (insert your own standard of beauty), but it’s really about loving and accepting yourself how you are, flaws and all,” Rice shared with the photo below.
Her posts on Instagram are inspiring and well worth the read. “Everyone has insecurities. EVERYONE. We are all going to face something, a circumstance, issue (maybe health related), an insecurity ect,” she wrote with the photo below. “Maybe you have something you’re insecure about, or are going through a rough situation or health issue. Don’t let it define you or steal your joy. Learning to love yourself with your insecurities and being okay with just being YOU is a magical thing.”
Rice’s words are so important for women to hear. The insane beauty standards we (and society) impose on ourselves at the best can create expensive beauty habits and at the worst they’ve destroyed people’s lives (ex: botched plastic surgery operations). By choosing to publicly discuss her owns issues and insecurities Rice is helping countless women feel a bit better about the natural, unedited, filter-free version of themselves. And like she says, when that happens it’s magical.