We’re all aware of and sometimes impacted by the unrealistic standards of beauty that are perpetuated by the fashion world. But luckily, a lot of people are adopting the philosophy- “Why blend in when you can choose how to stand out?” Today, models like Winnie Harlow are boosting visibility for vitiligo.
But younger kids still tend to feel uncomfortable due to the lack of representation. Fortunately, one man with vitiligo is making a difference.
This 64-year-old man from Brazil admittedly faced people’s prejudice for years before he decided to encourage kids inclusiveness for kids with vitiligo. He created crochet dolls with the same condition for them.
João Stanganelli had to leave his job in the gastronomy industry after he started suffering from poor cardiac health, which is when he decided to not let his illness restrict his life. João wanted to do something special for his granddaughter hence he started learning crochet as a hobby.
His hobby would also reportedly, distract him and keep his mind healthy, active and most importantly happy. It took him 5 days to knit the first doll with vitiligo that he later named ‘Vitilinda’.
The pretty doll had a loss of skin colour and broke all the barriers and set an example of inclusiveness. The doll became a big hit among kids and people with Vitiligo who also appreciated his efforts of normalising vitiligo through his artwork.
Stanganelli’s goals were to improve the self-esteem of the little ones with vitiligo and to cheer them up he made a doll that looked like them. Stanganelli says, “The spots I have are beautiful. What hurts me are the flaws in people’s characters.”
After the success of Vitilinda, Stanganelli decided to use his creative skills to make more inclusive dolls. He also made dolls in a wheelchair which were equally praised.
Stanganelli’s efforts in normalising the condition to further inclusiveness are indeed commendable. This is what the world needs right now.