Former Bachelor Contestant Opens Up About Vitiligo

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

A photo posted by Breanne💗Rice (@breannerice) on

After 10 years of hiding behind a layer of makeup, former Bachelor contestant and model Breanne Rice is finally ready to show her bare face to the world. Over the past four months, Rice has documented her struggles living with vitiligo — a condition that causes the skin to lose color in patches — to show other women and men that there isn't just one definition of beauty.

"I thought it made me less attractive because I didn't have [normally] pigmented skin," she says in an Instagram post. "I wanted to be like everyone else — and to have the option to not wear makeup and feel confident doing so."

Through speaking out about vitiligo, Rice has regained some of her confidence and has received an overwhelming amount of support for her honesty. "I finally decided to talk about it, and the act of being vulnerable in itself made me gain confidence in a way I hadn't experienced before," she wrote.

Now Rice has made it her mission to own her beauty and help other people along the way. "When I say [I'm] gaining confidence, I don't mean that I don't ever have insecurities about [my skin]... Although I've been through some things, my situation can somehow help other people and other women," she wrote. "I can't change my circumstances, but I can change my attitude and how I view this situation."

Rice's words have a profound impact. There's no denying that society puts a premium on so-called perfection, which can lead any of us to feel insecure about the way we look from time to time. Cheers to Rice for finally discovering how to love herself — and for providing inspiration to others along the way.

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