My name is Mehdi Amine. I am 27 years old, Moroccan and live in Germany. I developed vitiligo when I was 7 years old. It started with a small spot above my left eye. My family took me too many doctors as a young boy and I experimented with many different treatment options. I tried different medications and natural plant based approaches but nothing helped my condition.
As a young boy I was made fun of while attending school. My friends did not want to play with me and they were always insulting me. I hated my life at that time, as my father was always making me to try something new to treat my vitiligo condition. He made me to go an all vegetarian diet, so you can imagine as a child how hard it was not to be able to enjoy all sorts of fun foods most children enjoy! When I turned 14 years old, I made the decision to stop doing this diet protocol and instead focus on trying to be a normal teenager. It wasn't easy for me to fit into society. I was being treated as a monster and a freak by so many, despite have some very good friends. I always felt so different.
I never wore t-shirts or shorts as I was always trying to hide my spots even in the summer months when the temperatures outside were so high. I finished high school without ever having a girlfriend and I began studying programming in another city. It was the same wherever I went, I always felt that I was not normal. I hated myself and also hated God sometimes, as I would ask myself why me? But I learned to accept it by saying to myself that I am special and that I was the chosen one. This helped me to gain confidence and come to Germany to build a new life. I thought it would be different in Germany, but I was wrong. Everyone is the same everywhere, but different. It was very difficult to find girlfriends and search for employment as I was always rejected. I became angry that I allowed vitiligo to destroy my life and my confidence. I increasingly found myself staying at home and isolating myself.
Then one day I met a photographer/art student when I was shopping and she approached me directly and told me that I look amazing with my spots. She asked me out and it was wonderful! After 10 months she took my pictures. It was something special when I saw them for the first time. I said, I really look amazing! I felt so special! One night I was searching on the Internet and read about Misfit Models based in Berlin, Germany. It's an agency created from Del Keens a famous model search firm looking for unique people to be models. I sent them some of my pictures and after a few days they invited me to a casting. I took more pictures and was signed. I was told by the agency that they always were searching for a Chantelle Winnie, and now they found one in me. I felt incredibly special!
So with that, I don't feel the same as I did in my past. I have accepted myself and learned to love my spots. My confidence improved, and I signed a new model contract with another agency here in Berlin! It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I am special, I love my spots because they make me the unique person that I am.