Vitiligo is something most of us are familiar with now, but back in the day, it was not a condition that people spoke about regularly. In fact, it gained worldwide recognition when singer Micheal Jackson had it and went from black to white.
His change in skin colour cause a lot of controversies; he even made a song about it.
However, with Jackson’s extreme plastic surgeries and overall crazy lifestyle, it wasn’t the best representation for the condition, and no one took it seriously.
People didn’t even believe it was a skin condition and blamed the change in skin colour on plastic surgeries as well.
In recent years, however, we had the model Winnie Harlow appear on America’s next top model. While she didn’t win the show, she became one of the most successful models in recent years and flipped the whole modelling industry upside down.
In Egypt, however, we never had prominent figures who publicly discussed their vitiligo, probably until Logina Salah.
Logina Salah is a makeup artist, social influencer, model, and presenter who proudly wears her vitiligo and inspired thousands of people by her confidence.
This woman rose to fame because of how good she is at hiding her vitiligo, while ironically, was loved by everyone because she would proudly wear her bare face to the public.
She took what most people would be “ashamed” off and made it her brand.
Recently, we’ve seen Jamila Awad plays the role of the woman with vitiligo in “Ela ana“, and her acting took the internet by storm.
While we do think, Awad is a terrific actress, her representing the people with vitiligo might not have been the smartest casting choice there is.
Can you think of how many aspiring actresses with vitiligo that would never get any acting opportunities because of their condition?
This was a role made for them about them, why go with Jamila Awad; an actress who can easily get any part she wants?
You might think that this is something trivial, but in fact, it is not.
Remember when singer Ramy Gamal decided to end his career because he didn’t want to bother people with his condition? This is a man who no one particularly cares what he looks like, yet he felt insecure about being in the public eye because of the condition.
Imagine the empowerment people would have felt if the leading role was played by someone who does, in fact, have vitiligo?
Again, Jamila Awad did okay, but her choice to play the role did nothing for the cause.
In fact, no one cared about this, and it all turned into a pity party. So much so, that even her makeup for the role became a “trend”.
Yes, a show that was meant to empower those with vitiligo was the cause of a “vitiligo makeup trend” for people playing dress-up with it.
If you look up the hashtag “Ela ana” on Instagram, or even at the tagged pictures of Jamil Awad and Logina Salah, you’ll find the “vitiligo challenge”.The challenge is for people who don’t have vitiligo to wear vitiligo face.
The whole issue went from supporting a cause to a social media trend and challenge.
Here you have this imbecile, for instance, use horror makeup hashtags for her look, which we won’t share so we won’t give her any sorts of publicity.
Even Awad took the whole thing further and made a fashion shoot with the makeup, but adding glitter to it. The shoot was by Elle Arabia, which is a shame since Elle is a vast worldwide lifestyle magazine we grew up reading.
We don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but this whole “trend” is the same as the origins of Blackface.
Blackface is a term which is used to describe a form of theatrical make-up which is predominantly used by non-black performers in order to represent a caricature of a black person.
The term is also used in reference to black makeup, which is worn as part of folk tradition and disguising rather than as a racial stereotype of black people.