Ever wanted to cancel a date, and bury your face in a pillow after a zit popped up on it? Well, reality check: there are women out there with real skin conditions who are flaunting their flaws with confidence. And you should too!
This International Women’s Day, we are celebrating and applauding these women who are living proof that beauty is more than what meets the eye and that your flaws could in fact be your greatest strength.
Enter Ninu Galot, a UK-based Indian who was diagnosed with a skin condition called vitiligo when she was 11 years old. She is now an international fitness model, an entrepreneur and a spokesperson for the Vitiligo Society in London. She is clearly not letting her skin condition stop her in any way; if anything, it is only making her stronger.
Ninu first discovered a white patch on the back of her neck when she was 11 and her doctor diagnosed it to be vitiligo. It is a skin pigmentation disorder in which the skin loses its pigment cells and white patches spread all over the body. She resorted to painful UV light treatments and steroid creams for a long time before realising that her condition “was more a state of mind than something to feel judged negatively about.” And that changed everything.
Since the condition only affects 2-3% of population, they are many myths and wrong notions about it. “I found it very hard when people would stare or ask me questions about my skin condition. It took me some time to realise that most of them were just curious and didn’t know what it was, hence, they’d stare.” According to Ninu, the worst notion people have about vitiligo is that “it’s contagious.”
She enrolled in a fitness competition in 2017 with a motive of educating people about vitiligo and that’s probably how she found her love for fashion and fitness. She says, “After I did the fitness competition in October 2017, I learnt to accept vitiligo and found a new level of confidence, which I had lost when I developed the skin condition.”
When asked about how fitness helps her deal with her struggles, she explains, “It makes me feel good and gives me confidence.” Her fitness routine is quite simple though. “I like to train in the gym at least 3 times a week. When I was training for the fitness competition, I was training 6 times a week.” Since she is a fitness model (and we are true-blue beauty buffs), the next question we blurted out was what are the three beauty products we’d find in her gym bag, to which she replied, “sunscreen, lip balm and an eyeliner.”
Ninu is inspiring a lot of women to love the way they look (something we really could be better at in this crazy social media era). She has also spoken quite openly about her struggles with vitiligo at an early age and has opened up about her skin condition on social media. She has received only love and support from her Insta fam. “I’m very fortunate that I’ve only received lots of love from family, friends and supporters since I’ve opened up about my struggles with vitiligo.”
Ninu is a big advocator of self-love, if you haven’t already guessed. We asked her what message she’d want to give herself 10 years back on self-love and she responds, “Stop spending time thinking about what others think of you.” She believes that it is very important to love yourself and that’s one thing she wants everyone who is struggling with similar issue to know as well.
Image courtesy: Instagram