A “Chameleon” Woman, Whose Skin Changes Color With Time, Accepts Her Unique Beauty and Spreads Awareness
A young woman with vitiligo who endured criticism from her peers has defied the odds and become a famous fashion model. But while it may sound easy when we put her story into words, it most certainly wasn’t.
Her path to self-acceptance and love took a lot of effort. But one day, she woke up and decided that enough was enough. And that’s when Bright Side decided to share her story with its readers.
She new she was special at a young age.
Meet Enam Heikeens, 30, a unique girl born in Ghana. She was around 7 when she first noticed white patches forming on her arms. Enam was diagnosed with a skin disorder that causes the immune system to destroy pigment as it spreads across the body.
There was no one around who could help her.
The patches were initially assumed to be birthmarks by Enam and her family, but as they expanded, she started to worry. “No one in my school, the hospital, or society knew what vitiligo was. It was a very difficult time. At school, my classmates wouldn’t go near me because they thought I was contagious.”
But now she claims that she enjoys being in front of the camera despite having experienced past criticism because of her appearance. Enam explains that she began learning more about vitiligo when she enrolled in nursing school. She felt more at ease and welcomed it after learning more about it and researching it in depth.
Her life wasn’t easy in so many ways.
Enam states that in the past, she has faced many difficulties in her love life and friendships. Everyone she dated was ashamed to be seen with her. “If I went on dates, the guy would pick somewhere hidden,” the model admitted. She understood that her dates didn’t want to be seen with her and preferred not to run into any of their friends when they were together.
It wasn’t long before Enam was noticed by a modeling agency.
She recalls, “My skin condition wasn’t going anywhere, so I might as well accept myself. Soon after that, I was scouted by a modeling agency, and I haven’t looked back since.” She hopes that by modeling, other women with the condition will feel more empowered and learn to love themselves.
She’s now spreading awareness.
The model with vitiligo inspires people through her excellent photo sessions and motivational speeches in the local community. “I feel that even today, not many people know what it is, I get messages all the time on social media from people asking if I have been burnt in a fire or if I am an acid attack victim,” she explained.
“People need to accept it in society,” Enam thinks.
What we love about Enam is that even after facing many hardships, she didn’t just get mad at the world. Instead, she does her best to help anyone with the same condition to finally start loving themselves. “I know how awful it is to be stigmatized, and I wouldn’t want anyone to experience what I did,” the model stated. And after all this time, Enam proudly says, “Now I love the skin I am in, and I hope more people will accept vitiligo too.”
Today, she’s there for all the women out there who are having a hard time accepting their looks.
Enam proves that no one can stand between you and your career. She visits many educational institutions in Ghana and shares her experience and expertise. All she wants is for everyone to embrace their beauty and never see the hardships she had to face.
What would you say to Enam? Have you ever gone through rough times? How did you manage to pull yourself together and win? Tell your story in the comments, we can’t wait to get to know you!