Member & Model
My name is Adrienn Széles. I am 32 years old and live in the capital city of Budapest, Hungary. I have been living with vitiligo for 27 years now. It started when I was only five years old. I remember it was winter, my mother and I, along with a friend went ice skating in Slovakia. The road on our journey was covered with ice. We drove slowly, but unfortunately our car encountered ice along the way and we lost control of our car. The car careened off the road. Fortunately, the car and its occupants were fine. I was in shock. I was frightened. After the day was over, I was taking a bath and discovered that my back had been injured slightly in the commotion. There was a lesion. The spring came, the lesion healed, but the skin where the lesion had began to turn white. My doctor said this was normal and not to be worried. He said the skin would re-pigment. However, since that injury, every time I get a lesion the skin turns white.
My family spent countless money and time over the subsequent years trying in vain to help me restore my skins natural pigment. I tried everything. Pills, natural creams, tablets, liquids from all over the world. Nothing changed. When I was nine my parents separated, and I traveled with my mother and my sister to another city, a new home and a new school. I remember when I arrived at my new school it was so hard to fit in. Harder still when you have vitiligo and look like a spotted cow. My terror started at the impressionable age of nine. Every day I was taunted because of my skin. My classmates refused to touch what I touched, out of fear that they would develop the same skin condition. This made me very sad. I felt hurt every day. My mother never said "Poor Adrienn", she always reinforced that I was beautiful. "The most beautiful girl in the world, and when you grow up you will understand everything". Within three to four years my beauty became apparent and my fellow classmates fell in love with me. It was surreal. One day they would hate me because of my skin, the next day they would love me. I went back to my hometown to begin high school. I felt more comfortable in my hometown as my friends there were more understanding and less hurtful towards me.
After completing high school I entered into an eight year relationship in Budapest. He loved my skin and never told me that I was ugly. But when I woke up in the morning, I did not see the same beauty that he saw. We separated three and a half years ago and my life forever changed. I moved into another flat, got new friends, and did everything I wanted that I had never done before because of my skin. I began wearing dresses, shorts, and I went to the beach. I traveled everywhere in the world where I could bask my skin in the sun. It was in this moment where I realized that I'm so happy with my new life. Now I love my body and no one can hurt me with their watching eyes.
Three years ago I attended a vitiligo meeting. I was initially happy at the prospect of meeting other happy souls living like me with vitiligo. However, I was disappointed because unlike me, they were sad. They accepted their vitiligo, but if they had medication to stop it they would take it to stop the condition. So, I just sat quietly listening to their stories. "Hello, my name is XY, I have had vitiligo for XX years... OK I don't want to lie to all of you, I want to kill myself when I wake up." I was in a state of shock! Everyone was sad. I went home and pondered what I could do to make a difference. I could tell others they were beautiful, but would they believe me? Probably not... So, I realized that if I can't change their minds, that I would set out to change the world. OK, I am no superhero, but knowing that loving my skin and myself, I can show my mind, body and to soul to everybody. I made a campaign here in Hungary with photos and interviews. It was very successful! I was wanted on television, radio and the internet, everywhere! I am so glad that I have done something good. I don't want to stop here.
"As a Vitiligan I know and feel this is my life, this is my mission!"