You can always rely on a bully to be wrong. Their hurtful comments may be super effective in making you feel insecure in the moment, but sometimes they end up inadvertently highlighting what's special about you. Take Reddit user Gabriela Romero (@gabrielaalsr) for example, who was diagnosed with vitiligo 10 years ago when she was 15. (Vitiligo, if you don't know, is a condition wherein the skin loses pigment cells, leading to differently colored patches on the body.) As Romero revealed in a Reddit post, she's been called hurtful names like "cow" and "dalmatian" ever since her diagnosis.
To flip the script about her skin condition, she turned those hurtful comments into a gorgeous eye makeup look, inspired by the cow and dalmatian animal prints so frequently used in fashion trends. Paired with a nude lip and a fresh base that complements her different skin tones, Romero's eye look is a bold white cat eye, filled with black splotches and lined with miniature pearls.
After posting the look to Reddit's MakeupAddiction thread, more than 450 commenters have flooded the post with support. "I find that cows and dalmatians are really beautiful creatures," one commenter writes. "The intention of those people was to offend you but I think they failed! You are totally gorgeous and you have a great talent for makeup!" Another chimes: "[The original poster] is gorgeous vitiligo or no vitiligo but I just don’t get the fuss people make... Can't we appreciate nature's beauty in all its variety?"
As Romero tells Allure, she didn't feel as confident about her vitiligo when she was younger. In fact, she says her diagnosis was "a huge hit" to her self-esteem. "I was already different from everybody: chubby, short, curly hair, [and I had] a brain injury that damaged my speech... I was just a strange kid." Romero recalls. "I didn't fit in with the rest of my classmates, and being diagnosed with vitiligo made me really insecure."
Throughout her college years, Romero frequently concealed her spots with makeup but soon learned that she could use it to highlight them instead. "Now I love my skin to be more natural, and I make sure that when I apply makeup the two tones are very noticeable," she says. At 25, Romero frequently creates elaborate, bedazzled eye looks that Reddit can't seem to get enough of. "It's my creative outlet for sure... I never thought that my looks were going to receive so much attention."
As I said, you can always count on a bully to be wrong. Romero's beautiful makeup looks and the overwhelming positive response is hard proof.
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Originally Appeared on Allure