Bullied For Vitiligo, Sonya Charles Had To Move Out From M’sia
Sonya Danita Charles was just 8 years old when she started having vitiligo. It is a condition, in which the pigment/melanin is lost from areas of the skin, causing white patches and often with no clear cause.Fast forward to 2019, the 26 year old is redefining beauty standards and proving that beauty is what you make of it.
Back in 2018, Sonya walked her first show at the KLFW. Since then, the she’s been making a name for herself in the modelling industry. Though, she wasn’t always that confident with herself. She says in an interview with Likely, “I thought I wasn’t beautiful, good enough and always compared myself to the other girls around me.”
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“It may take months or years but what’s meant for you will always find its way to you. It may take a lot of patience, a lot of overcoming challenges, a lot of moments of despair and a lot of heartbreaks, but what’s meant for you will always be worth the wait. It may require an exorbitant dose of strength and resilience but eventually what’s meant for you will come when you’re ready to appreciate every little bit of it. It will make sense. It will make the painful years a little easier to swallow. It will make the journey a little sweeter to look back on. Every challenge, every heartbreak, every setback is meant to get us closer to what’s truly meant for us because God doesn’t make us suffer for no good reason. God doesn’t take away blessings from us unless he knows it’s not going to bless us in the future. We may not see or understand the whole picture now, but when it’s done, we will understand that every stroke had a purpose, we’ll see how every little dot came together to create something meaningful, something worth looking at, something worth remembering. It may take a while but what’s meant for you will not mistakenly be given to someone else. God doesn’t miss any targets. So rest assured, that if something is meant for you, even if the whole world is competing for it, it will be yours and yours only. And I think that’s the beauty of faith, knowing that after everything you’ve been through, there will be a reward. Whether it’s what you wished for or something better. Whether it’s what you’ve been waiting for or something beyond your wildest dreams. God is full of surprises and miracles. Maybe his timing doesn’t always align with ours and maybe his plans for us are nothing like the ones we planned for ourselves but it’s reassuring to know that at the end of it all, what’s meant for us will be ours, maybe we’ll stumble upon it, maybe it will find us, maybe it will require us to fight a few more battles, but it helps to know that once everything falls into place, what’s meant for us will not be taken away from us. What’s meant for us will always stay”-Ranianaim #IShapeMyWorld @levismy
Explaining it further, she tells it took her about 17 years just to accept herself. Society didn’t make any much easier for her too, “I used to get stared at by strangers or hear people make comments about me like, did someone throw acid on her or was her skin burned?”
Not letting the negativity get to her, she opted for a fresh start, “When I was done with high-school, I realise this is my chance to start fresh. I moved to the United States to further my education.”
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“Just be gentle. Be gentle because we all have worlds inside of ourselves that no one else sees. And some of us, some of our worlds are heavy right now. Some of our worlds are filled with darkened hope, some of our worlds are filled with hurt—they lack the magic they once did. So just be gentle, because you never know which world someone holds inside of themselves. You never know someone’s story”. Words: @rainbowsalt Photographer | Azim Mahayudin @azimmahayudin @_amstudio Stylist | Aiman Rahim @ayymanrahim MUA | Ahma Dani @ahma_dani
“Being in that culture and open minded setting, a lot of things changed. People there are a lot different in terms of accepting diversity.”
We certainly can’t imagine what Sonya has to go through growing up with vitiligo. While she’s has finally found the courage to accept and love herself as well as to inspire others, we can’t help but wonder, what about the others too? She was lucky enough to start over in new country because her birth country bullied her growing up.
Let this be a wake up call for all. Be it someone with vitiligo or not, we should not discriminate and bully. Put it this way, if you were in their shoes, would you like it?
Now you can watch the full interview session right here. PS Sonya also shares her amazing makeup tutorial in this video!