"I didn’t know it was OK not to completely fit in."

I came across this article on Refinery29.com and I am sure many with alopecia or children with alopecia will find it encouraging.

"Model Jeyza Gary has a rare, inherited condition that causes her skin to shed every two weeks. Two years ago, she decided to pursue a modeling career while completing her bachelor's degree in special education. Now, she's signed to a modeling agency, and has been featured in Vogue Italia."

"I first realized I was different when I was old enough to see how my family was very protective over me. We’d go out and people would stare. I remember it bothering my mom. She would say, “It’s not polite to stare. Feel free to ask, but don’t stare.” Sometimes she told the parents, too, because the children only do what they learn from their parents."

"On the first day of school, my mom would come in her slacks and brown lip liner to educate the children and the teachers about my skin. She would make me stand beside her in the front of the class with my two Afro puffs and then she would say, “This is my daughter, Jeyza, and she has a skin condition. How many of you have seen a lizard or a snake? Jeyza’s skin is like that. Every 10 to 12 days, it sheds. It’s not contagious. She is just like everyone else.”

"She was teaching them, but in a way, she was teaching me, too. Hearing that recited over and over again at the beginning of school year reaffirmed that I was just like everyone else. My mom never made me feel like I was separate. If I was peeling on my forehead, she would tie a bandana on my head and I would go to school. If my brother wore shorts, I wore shorts."
"When I was in high school, I definitely wore a lot of makeup. I used it as a way to fit in and cover the things that made me stand out. I would fill in my eyebrows because I don’t have any. I’d wear eyeshadow and mascara and something on my lips. I didn’t know it was OK not to completely fit in."
"One day I didn’t wear anything, and I was like, “Who is this person?” I started feeling like I needed makeup, so I stopped. My skin is art enough. There are moments when my skin is super bright and orange and light brown. Then there are moments when I’m just as chocolate as I want to be. I love them both equally. I take pride in my skin. I take pride in being two different shades of brown at the same time. I’m giving you a double dose of melanin."
..."I want to be the best. I want to be in Vogue. I want to be sought out by everybody that turned me down. There was never a person I could idolize growing up. It was my family instilling in me that I am good enough and there is nothing wrong with me. I want to be that for other people who don’t see it in themselves."
You can read Jeyza's full store by following he link below:
Source:  Refinery29.com
Photo: Courtesy of Sophie Kietzmann. 

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