Embracing flaws might seem like a natural progression in the circle of self-acceptance. But, how many of us are up for it? Well, despite it being easier said than done, Prarthana Jagan, a young Indian blogger is on a path to do just that, and soaking up all the accolades coming her way. The city girl, who’s currently in the third year of Medical Electronics at Ramaiah Institute of Technology, was first featured on Elle India in its 25th anniversary December issue, among individuals who’ve redefined beauty on their own terms. And, there has been no looking back ever for the girl who featured on HomeGrown India for spreading awareness about Vitiligo. She is amongst the top five people in India to talk about the struggles a person with Vitiligo faces, and while also helping others cope with the condition. Most recently, she was featured in the August issue of Grazia for a soap brand’s “No Digital Distortion” campaign, Prarthana shares the inside track with us...
“The campaign with a beauty brand called No Digital Distortion wanted to portray strong women with absolutely raw, unedited and unfiltered skin. I feel like that such bare looks are lost in today’s commercial and social media businesses, where people soften looks to minimise pores, blemishes, etc. The magazine took up the initiative to be open about the subject, and showcase beautiful women in their truest form,” elucidates the social media influencer, who was diagnosed with Vitiligo at the age of 11. Taking us through her earliest memories of coming to terms with it, Prarthana says, “I got diagnosed with Vitiligo at 11. I obviously stood out in the sea of kids at school. For a couple of months, I didn’t have the wall of make-up to hide behind so, I was bare-faced and I hid behind my fringe. I was subjected to bullying, I felt so alone in a pool of people with ‘normal’ skin. People at school would often point, laugh and stare. I didn’t know how to hide.”
While the battle and trauma was one that she would have to fight all life long, the turning point was at 18, when she made a choice to love the skin she had. “When I was diagnosed with Vitiligo, the one thing I used to keep thinking until I was 18 was, ‘why could I not have normal skin?’ The notion of having ‘normal’ skin is so bizarre because media has brainwashed us into thinking that acne, pigmentation and blemishes account for being ugly and abnormal. Once I understood that nobody is normal and everyone has their own struggles, I understood that beauty has absolutely nothing to do with how you look.”
Not even a decade later, and Prarthana is quite the poster girl for loving oneself and has people sitting up and taking note of her. “The most important accomplishment of mine has to be an article that stated ‘Top 5 Indian’s who are spreading awareness about Vitiligo,’ it blew my mind that I was considered to be amongst the top five in India to talk about the struggles a person with Vitiligo faces. I was first featured on Elle India in their 25th anniversary December issue, it was all about being benign raw, and allowing bare skin to show that people with quirks can be beautiful as well. I’m so thankful that my space of followers and subscribers are so supportive and friendly. I have not once faced cyber bullying or trolls,” signs off Prarthana, who is an intrepid traveller, ardent dog lover with her sights set on making it big in the world of modelling.