Bullies are terrible, even more so when you're a teenager. Kartiki Bhatnagar, a 17-year-old with vitiligo, has opened up about being bullied because of her skin, and how she chose to fight the bullies — with art.
Bhatnagar developed the condition when she was 7 years old.
She tried to solve it with medication but nothing worked.
“I felt like I do not really belong here,” the student from New Delhi, India told People Magazine. “I thought maybe in the future no one will like me. I felt people will be scared to hug me, touch me or even talk. I even thought that no guy will ever like me or accept me for who I am. This really affected my formative years.”
She even had a secret meeting at school to try and persuade her friends that she wasn't contagious.
Earlier this year, she began to see her condition in a different and more positive light.
“One day, my friend Shreyas looked at my foot and exclaimed, ‘Whoa! I love the dual skin tone color you have.’ That seriously bewildered me,” she revealed. “Before I had the time to process this, he pointed at my left foot and commented, ‘In fact, that patch actually looks like the Apple logo.’ ”
At first, she thought her friend was making fun of her, but then she saw what he saw and started outlining her spots with a pen, transforming her vitiligo into skylines and ghosts.
“As a person I am really experimental in nature and I like to think out of the box,” she told People. “Some may call this crazy, but usually I am thinking of new things I can do with them. I have been given it, might as well embrace it! I was even thinking of making them everlasting by getting them tattooed.”