Bryson’s Turning Points

Bryson’s emotional journey with vitiligo started at a young age. After living through years of bullying and mental health challenges related to his vitiligo, Bryson’s perspective has shifted and he’s able to reflect on the moments that have made him who he is today.

It's really interesting because the person then versus me now is so different.”


A young white man opens the door to a warehouse. Sunlight pours in as he enters. He steps under a spotlight and pauses. He has one blue eye and one brown eye. The hair on his eyebrows and moustache is mostly brown with patches of white. The skin around his left eye has pigment loss.


BRYSON: I grew up in a small, rural town, and there was a standard of beauty and meeting these perfect expectations.

Two giant screens turn on. A recent photo of Bryson is projected on the walls in front and beside him.

BRYSON: You know, me having vitiligo, I didn't look normal. A lot of the times, I felt like an outcast.


The image on the screens changes to a photo of Bryson as a teen. He watches intently.

BRYSON: It's sad to look at this photo 'cause I know that, like, I'm just, like, not okay. I was dealing with a lot, the way that I appeared, you know, my vitiligo, me being closeted. There... you know, my parents were divorcing, and, and so, I actually attempted, suicide, and nobody knew. I didn't tell anybody, so it was... y’know.

Bryson shrugs and smiles.

BRYSON: I wish I could give myself a hug and just be like, "It's okay."

Bryson laughs. The screens show photos of Bryson on his graduation day then on various trips.

BRYSON: Because it is, now. There was so much of my life after that point that I would've missed out on. I met some pretty amazing, amazing people.

Bryson beams as photos of him and his friend appear on the screens.

BRYSON: So, this is Shayla. She was one of the first friends I ever made in undergrad, and the unique thing about my relationship with Shayla was, uh, she was one of the first people that never confronted me about my vitiligo. When I finally decided to ask her, like, "Hey, like, have you noticed what is on my face?"

and she just told me, you know, "I, saw it, but I just didn't question it because it doesn't really matter. Like, you are you," and that was something that was really new for me because my whole life up until this point I felt like I had to constantly explain, you know, what was going on.

Bryson’s recent photo is projected on the walls. He stares up with a smile.

BRYSON: My end goal is to work in some facet of mental health just because of my experiences dealing with my own struggles, and I would love to just be able to meet and connect with other people that might not feel as comfortable in their bodies, because I know what that's like.

Bryson watches as the screen cuts to a montage of photos. Going to college, his graduation, skiing for the first time and traveling internationally.

BRYSON: Definitely, with my vitiligo, it's something that I've learned. It's okay not to be okay.

TEXT ON SCREEN: There’s so much more to the story


DISCLAIMER: This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. © 2022, Incyte Corporation.  MAT-DRM-00443  09/22



Understanding the impact

When it comes to vitiligo, the first thing we usually think of is our skin—the appearance, the changes, and how our skin makes us feel. But if you’re living with vitiligo, you know it’s more than just a skin condition. It can affect many aspects of your life, from your mental health, to your self-esteem, to the decisions you make every day.

Real conversations. Honest perspectives.

Sit down for candid conversations with people living with vitiligo. No topic is off limits—they’re sharing their takes on positivity, why they cover up, and how losing pigment can feel like losing your identity. Have a look at what they have to say.

A young White man with short brown hair enters a building wearing a face mask. Meanwhile, stylists tend to a young Black woman with afro-textured hair.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Two people living with vitiligo are meeting for the very first time.

The young woman, Mobola, stares vacantly as her stylist adjusts her top. The skin around her eyes and mouth has pigment loss. Meanwhile, the young man, Bryson, rides an elevator. He has white patches across his eyebrows.

TEXT ON SCREEN: From different backgrounds.

Mobola sets off alone carrying a hot drink. Bryson walks next to a glass partition in a modern space. He carries a red backpack over his shoulders.

TEXT ON SCREEN: With different perspectives.

Later, Bryson sits in a waiting area while Mobola arrives on a set designed like a living room.

TEXT ON SCREEN: But with the same goal–to get real about how it feels.

A boom mic hangs over a pair of lounge chairs angled towards each other. Bryson walks in and takes a seat, shifting tensely. Moments later, Mobola enters. The two meet each other’s gaze with welcoming smiles.

MOBOLA: Hello.

BRYSON: Hi. I'm Bryson.

MOBOLA: I'm Mobi. Nice to meet you.

BRYSON: It’s nice to meet you.

Mobola and Bryson shake hands then sit, anxiously scanning the room.

BRYSON: How do you feel?


MOBOLA: Umm…right now, I am really excited, because I've never really sat down and had a conversation with somebody else that has vitiligo.


BRYSON: Yeah, me too. I've never met anyone as well. So, it's really interesting. I'm really excited to have a conversation.



The Many Shades of Positivity

MOBOLA: So, do you feel like there's been like a recent thing where vitiligo has gotten more traction, and is more like, the thing, like an in-thing now?

BRYSON: Yeah. Like a trend, almost. Yeah.

MOBOLA: Yeah. Do you feel that?

BRYSON: Yeah, I totally feel that. You know, vitiligo has almost been targeted as some kind of trend, or some kind of fashion. Kind of…

MOBOLA: I've actually seen people who do makeup on their face to make it look like they have vitiligo.

BRYSON: Yeah. You may be able to put it on yourself, but you're never going to be able to fully experience this.

MOBOLA: You don't have the experience, no.

BRYSON: —that I face, and other people with vitiligo have faced.


BRYSON: I just don't think that that's something that's really fair. Because ultimately, they can take it off. I can't. You can't. I find it almost offensive in a way. Because it's like you're mocking my experiences by trying to make it into some kind of trend.

MOBOLA: A lot of the vitiligo stuff I see, it's always super positive, and everyone's always talking about how, "In my skin, I win" and how they just love their spots, and how it makes it so unique. Right?

Photos appear on screen. A woman with white patches around her eyes smiles. A caption reads: there is no cure for vitiligo. And I am more than cool with that. Another photo shows a Black hand outstretched with pigment loss across the fingers. A caption reads: is nature’s art on your skin. Bryson reads from his smartphone.

BRYSON: My spots are my superpower.

An image depicting a girl in a bikini with vitiligo reads: My spots are my superpower.

MOBOLA: So, how do you feel about that?

BRYSON: I appreciate, you know, the support behind it. But why am I considered a superhero for just being me? You know?

MOBOLA: I kind of feel like it's a little cheesy, if you ask me.

BRYSON: Uh hum. Yeah!

MOBOLA: I feel like awareness about vitiligo is also letting people know that we are just regular people, too.

BRYSON: Yeah! Yeah!

MOBOLA: —who just have, you know, different pigmentation on their skin. So having the pressure of feeling like it's a superpower, now makes you feel like, "Okay, you have to be this vitiligo representation of something that you're representing," and I just feel like it's just too much responsibility. Too much stress. Kind of adds pressure to that person who isn't there yet. They now feel like, "How come I'm not, you know, okay with my vitiligo? What's wrong with me?" So they have that extra layer of stress that I think is so unnecessary. Like I think everybody has their own race to run, and you should just take things in your own pace.

BRYSON: As much as I do agree with doing it in moderation, for someone that, you know, had no representation growing up, and you know, now kind of coming into my own skin, certain posts like that did kinda give me, you know, sometimes an extra boost, you know?

MOBOLA: Oh, yeah?

BRYSON: During the day, of like seeing it, and being like, "Hey, like, I am not alone. And there are other people out there, you know, with the same experience as me." But you know, seeing posts like that definitely made me feel seen and represented.

A quote reads: I struggled a lot.

BRYSON: Where I grew up, if you didn't look a certain way, or act certain way, then you were deemed as being wrong, or you were going to go to Hell, or whatever the situation may be.

Photos appear on screen. Bryson wears a graduation cap and gown. A 2021 ornament is affixed to the cap’s tassel. In another photo, he poses with his prom date. She wears a blue dress and he wears a grey suit with a blue bowtie. A white patch covers the skin across his left eye.

MOBOLA: Really?

BRYSON: And so, my vitiligo was actually something that stood out, and so, you know, I was not happy there. And the people there were just not as nice, especially growing up. I know for me, I struggle a lot, you know... Yeah. Let's see.

Photos of Bryson appear showing the white patch of skin across his left eye. Bryson reflects as he searches for his words. Mobola’s eyes narrow as she gently nods.

BRYSON: …and I actually got to a point where I actually attempted to take my own life because things were so intense. Because I just hated the way that I looked. I hated the way that I stood out to other people. And I just did not want to really be here anymore. And that was something that I really, really had to kind of learn and adjust to be like, "Okay, like, it's okay to be who I am. And it's okay to look the way that I look and act the way that I act." Because ultimately, you know, I am myself, and who do I have to prove anything to other than myself?

Mobola shakes her head.

MOBOLA: Nobody.

BRYSON: But now as an adult, it kind of allowed me to embrace who I am fully. You know, my vitiligo is a big factor in my life. It's not the sole thing of my personality, who I am. But, you know, it is something that you know—

MOBOLA: Is a big part of who you are, yeah.

BRYSON: —defines me, yeah. Yeah.

A quote reads: People close to me probably think I’m perfectly happy.

MOBOLA: I think my approach was completely different than yours. Because I feel like I haven't really talked about my vitiligo to people in my personal life. Most people that are close to me will probably think that I'm just perfectly happy with my vitiligo…

A photo appears. Mobola and her colleague pose for a selfie. They wear hospital scrubs with a stethoscope around their necks.

MOBOLA: …and everything, because I'm not the type of person to talk about it, and they don't really ask me anything about it. They just see it as, you know, "You just have vitiligo, and you're rocking it, and everything is great."

A photo of Mobola appears. She wears a white lab coat and face mask. In another photo she smiles wearing black hospital scrubs.

MOBOLA: But I do have insecure moments, like, for example, in terms of dating. Because I actually had, like, an interesting experience with like, an ex that I dated. We had gone to visit his grandma, and during the visit, like, she was so nice to me, and I was nice to her, too, because she seemed like, you know, she warmed up to me, and I thought everything was going great. And so when we left, I was having a conversation with him in the car, and he just basically told me that his grandma told him that he couldn't marry me or have kids with me because if we got married and had kids, my babies would come out looking White.

BRYSON: Oh my gosh.

MOBOLA: And that's not what she wants, so he needs to find a way to figure that out. Before that, it never even really crossed my mind that that would be something that other people might worry about, or think about. Like whoever I date, their family members might not be so accepting because of my vitiligo. Which was like, that opened another door of insecurities that I never even dreamt about before. It's not even like they're trying to be mean. They're just ignorant. Like, vitiligo is not something that's really, you know, known about.

BRYSON: I will say that, you know, that the negative comments do come every now and then. And, but it's the matter of, you know, "Do I address it in a way that, you know, is going to be educational and allow somebody to learn from what exactly it is? Or just kind of shutting them off completely?"

A quote reads: Why are you white here, but dark here?

MOBOLA: I've had a child come up to me, and they were just so perplexed about, you know, why am I white here? Why am I dark here? So, they were like, "Hmm. Are you half white, half black?" I was just like, "Yep, you got it. That's what it is." Because they're just racking their brain just trying to understand, like, how is this happening? You know?

BRYSON: I remember, specifically, you know, I was talking to this guy, and he was just asking questions about vitiligo, and what my experience was. And after the conversation, he said, "Well, I hope you get better. I hope things get better for you."

MOBOLA: I'm not sick, bro.

Mobola giggles.

BRYSON: Yeah, right.

MOBOLA: What do you mean?

BRYSON: It really threw me off. Because I was like, "Why do you assume that, you know, I want to get rid of it?” You know, like that's something that you kind of assume, that, you know, I don't want this, or I'm like struggling, or I'm like going to die or something. It's not something like that. It's just me.

A quote reads: It’s a journey that I’m still figuring out.

MOBOLA: So, if you had to pick between Bryson that just grew up normal, no vitiligo, no experiences that you had now, or Bryson with everything that you had and who you are today, what would you pick?

BRYSON: That's a tough question.

Mobola smiles.

BRYSON: You know, I think I would say the version of myself as I am today, so like me developing vitiligo, and like all the experiences.

MOBOLA: Everything you went through to become who you are?

BRYSON: Yeah. Because it really played such a big part in just who I am now, that I know, like for me, there's a sense of pride with it.

Mobola laughs.

BRYSON: Because you know, not everyone has it.

MOBOLA: So, for me, it's definitely a journey that I'm still figuring out where I stand exactly. I'm trying to find the word... Acceptance-ish.

Mobola giggles.

MOBOLA: Definitely the -ish part, because that changes.

BRYSON: Yeah. I feel like you have to be really vulnerable to have conversations like these, especially with strangers.

MOBOLA: Exactly. Like you kind of have to put yourself out there. Because I feel like when you meet other people, like today, I feel like I've gotten a lot of support, and just in conversation, because you can kind of relate to where I'm coming from.

BRYSON: Yeah. It's really awesome to like, connect on that level. It's something that's really incredible. And I'm really appreciative to you know, have had the opportunity to sit and talk with you.

MOBOLA: Same. I'm really grateful, too.

Mobola smiles and giggles.


Mobola takes a breath then a long exhale.


Bryson sits up.


BRYSON: I can breathe.

Mobola: Yeah.

Mobola giggles.


TEXT ON SCREEN: Listen. Connect. Share your POV.


TEXT ON SCREEN: This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. © 2022, Incyte Corporation.  MAT-DRM-00419  09/22



A young Black woman with long black hair arrives outside of a building and is greeted with a hug. Later, a young white man with short black hair and a trim beard arrives at the building.

MARY: I'm excited. I'm excited to meet someone with vitiligo as well.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Two people living with vitiligo are meeting for the very first time.

MARY: I have met, you know, online. I've never really met a lot of people in person, so that's exciting.

The young woman, Mary hangs out on a film set. The skin around her eyes and mouth has pigment loss. Meanwhile, the young man, Brandon poses as the film crew prepares their equipment.

Brandon rides in an elevator wearing a face mask.

SPEAKER 2: How you feeling?


SPEAKER 2: Yeah.

BRANDON: How about you guys?

TEXT ON SCREEN: From different backgrounds.

A split screen shows Mary and Brandon waiting on the set at different times. The set is designed like a modern living room. A flashback to both of them arriving on set individually.

TEXT ON SCREEN: With different perspectives.

Brandon walks past the lights and cameras.

TEXT ON SCREEN: But with the same goal—to get real about how it feels.

A boom-mic hangs over two empty lounge chairs angled towards each other. Three sunlit windows border the set’s background. Brandon walks in and takes a seat.

BRANDON: I hope I’m in the right chair.

Moments later, Mary enters. She clasps her hands nervously as she makes her way towards the lounge chairs. Her forearms are mostly all white from pigment loss. Brandon stands and they shake hands. The two exchange a warm smile and they sit.

BRANDON: Nice to meet you.

MARY: Hi, nice to meet you.

BRANDON: Brandon.

MARY: Mary. Nice to meet you.

BRANDON: It's a pleasure to meet you.

MARY: I'm gonna take a seat. All righty. How are you?


BRANDON: Good, how are you?

MARY: I'm good. I'm good. I'm a little nervous.


They laugh.

BRANDON: I think everybody is.

MARY: Yeah.


MARY: It's normal.


TEXT ON SCREEN: Episode 2 The Ways We Cover Up

MARY: So, a huge question I have, like I’ve always wanted to ask someone— how do you deal with staring? I don't want it to bother me.


MARY: I don’t know if you can tell, there are like different stares.

BRANDON: There are, yeah.

MARY: Right? Okay?

BRANDON: Yeah, yeah.

Brandon laughs

MARY: Okay. And people are like, "How do you know?" My friends are like, "How do you know that person isn't staring at you just, you know curiosity." I was like, "No, you can tell.

BRANDON: You just get it. You can tell.

MARY: The longer it lingers you know.

BRANDON: I can feel it.

MARY: You can feel it.


MARY: And it's, it's like, this high pressure and…

BRANDON: I've mastered, like, the death stare, like…

MARY: Yeah.

BRANDON: You know?

MARY: You're, you're like ...

Mary purses her lips and gives a side stare.


MARY: Like, you just look at them like, "Okay, next.”

BRANDON: "You wanna say something?" "Like, why?" "Come on."

MARY: "Approach me, please. Thank you."

BRANDON: Yeah, yeah, I'll answer the questions, but like don't stare at me like I'm, you know, an object or whatever, but…

MARY: Yes, yes, yes, oh God.

BRANDON: I think one of my questions was if you could start all over again with or without vitiligo, what would you choose?

MARY: Hmm. Surprisingly… no?


MARY: I mean, if you would have caught me a year ago, I most likely would have said yes. Like-

BRANDON: Do it, yeah.

MARY: "Just, just do it, take it off. I don't want it anymore. I wanna start back fresh."

TEXT ON SCREEN: “I never fully don’t have that shield on.”

MARY: So, at the beach, my typical, like, wear, it being so hot, I, I would just kind of ignore the heat and just wear, you know, my long sleeve.


MARY: I try to make it trendy, you know? So, like, soft sweaters, long skirts, like, boho skirts, type, and I'd kinda just sit and guard the umbrella, so it'd kinda look like, "Oh, it's okay. I just don't wanna get burned or something," or "I don't wanna go in. Have fun."

BRANDON: Yeah. Limits the staring.

MARY: Yeah.

BRANDON: When I went to the beach, same thing. Yeah, I had a shirt on, like shorts, socks, shoes. They're like, "Why do- you have your shoes on? You're at the beach." I'm like, "You don't get it."

MARY: That's, it's a struggle. You don't understand.

BRANDON: I'm jealous you guys have makeup and stuff. Like, if I wake up, I look like – then it's all you got. Like, you can't change it.

They chuckle.

MARY: No. I actually don't. I used to. Oh God, I used to try to cover. Well, I've been hiding for so long, actually, okay? I'm just exhausted. I'm tired. It's hard because I do do a bit of modeling here and there, you know? I get called for gigs to kind of diversify a group that looks different. I'm called because of my skin.

Mary poses in various professional photos. She smiles wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts then wearing a bra and underwear. In another, she jumps with her arms outstretched. Her arms and legs are covered with patches of white from pigment loss.

MARY: You know what I mean? Like, it makes me different, it makes me stand out so it makes me feel like ... It's not that I count on that to sort of be my, like, my push to love vitiligo, but it has helped me.

BRANDON: Yeah. You know, I would go out, uh, to a public place with my parents and, you know, you'd see people staring and I saw them feeling bad for me… so, you know, what triggered me to start hiding was, you know, "Let me hide it so they don't feel that way."

MARY: Yeah.


MARY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

BRANDON: And at the same time, I felt like crap too but uh—

Childhood photos of Mary with her family. She and her brother hug her dad. In another photo, she poses with her mom, dad and brother in front of a waterfall, then one more photo showing young Mary in a bathing suit next to a pool.

MARY: I felt really bad because my dad really wanted me to be positive right? But I really couldn’t. I really didn't feel that that positivity. Like, I just, I'd felt like it was a curse.


MARY: I felt like, you know, "Why me?" I, I didn't want to think happy thoughts about my skin, you know? Like, I just, I didn't like it.

BRANDON: Yeah. When I was younger, it was harder because I played soccer at a very competitive level, so I was always on a field or going to a field or coming back from a field.

A soccer photo of Brandon as a teenager. His hand is about to meet another player’s hand in a lineup.

BRANDON: You know how you line up after a game, you shake hands? I was still naïve at the time, but, you know, kids would refuse to shake my hand because, you know, I had the vitiligo and stuff like that, so, you know, I'd always feel bad.

Mary closes her eyes with a compassionate smile and grips her chest.

BRANDON: And then, like, you know, a few instances, they'd punch me in the stomach, and I don't know if it was because we beat them or, you know, they didn't wanna shake my hand or they thought I was different, but I realized I was the only one getting hit, so, like, I was like, "All right—" I either did something bad or they just don't like me as a person— right?

MARY: Yeah.

Soccer photos show Brandon on the field. He has tan skin with white patches around his eyes, neck, fingers and across his forearms.

BRANDON: And my dad was the coach at the time and my dad was like, you know, "You gotta, you gotta hold that in. You can't let anybody s- see that they of- they got to you, they affected you, because—" "... they'll use it against you or some people will," right? So that's become my self-defense.

A recent video shows Brandon playing soccer with his dad. They headbutt the ball back-and-forth.

BRANDON: And I get that from a father standpoint. I would do the same thing. You wanna protect your kid, right? You wanna make sure he's good and has the tools to deal with this kinda stuff, and I did.

A photo shows Brandon using a weightlifting apparatus. His large muscles bulge from his clothes. He poses with his girlfriend in another photo, then him with a slice of birthday cake.

BRANDON: You know, it helped tremendously, but the negative aspect is, I never fully don't have that shield on, you know, whether I'm with my family, girlfriend or friends, and that's that's what I did, you know, that's what I continue to do, but, you know, if I could do it all over again, I probably should have seen a therapist of something because…

Mary and Brandon laugh.

TEXT ON SCREEN: “I dashed to my car and just started crying.

MARY: I was walking to a, like, a café down in Miami, and usually I don't wear, um, short sleeves when I'm on my own. I do sometimes, but it's usually, like, after a gig or something.

BRANDON: Why not when you're on your own?

MARY: When I'm not alone, I have distractions. So, my friends, my mind is distracted.

BRANDON: Same. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARY: Right? Okay. You're not thinking about other people, you really just ... and if you do, you encounter that step but you're with your friends.

BRANDON: You’re focused on them.

MARY: You're focused on that.


MARY: I was supposed to meet my friend and she didn't show up, and I was like, "Well, I really wanna try this bakery. It's, like ... a new bakery came out, I really wanna go. I'm already here. Let's go out, Mary. Let's walk to the bakery."

BRANDON: Just get it done, yeah.

MARY: "Let's get it done." And I felt like I looked cute. It was just- a simple outfit. Like, it was just clean, you know? I, as I was walking closer to the door, there's a girl that is staring at me, and she sort of, I guess caught everyone else's attention and they all…

BRANDON: They stopped and looked?

MARY: They all ... like, I'm talking about six people. They just all decided to, like, turn around." And I'm like, "Wait." So, as I walk inside, I hear them, like, uh, they're kinda laughing. I saw them.

BRANDON: Oh really?

MARY: But then I hear them, you know, talking in Spanish, and it's, uh, they were talking about the skin. And I was like, "Okay, I understand everything."

MARY: "I understand everything," right? Like, "You didn't know, but I, I speak Spanish." "Surprise." I was already on the verge of tears. I was just freaking out. I'm walking to the bakery. I, I don't even know what to order. I forgot what bakery, I forgot what pastry is what. I pay and I, like, speed out. Like, I just speed walk outside and I, I dashed to my car and I just start crying. I start crying because I thought, I thought I was past it. Like, my confidence plummeted that day, which sucked, because I'm working on building my confidence and then, like… oooooh.

Mary makes a downward gesture with her hand.

TEXT ON SCREEN: “Don’t show any emotion about it. Be fine.

BRANDON: Yeah. You know, I could tell my parents were, they were very worried about me going to school and me getting picked on, and that happened, obviously…

Photos show Brandon as a teenager on the soccer pitch.

BRANDON: But when I was very young, my dad, still, he still runs, but he's very he's very, uh, athletic, so he'll... run around the block, he'll train for marathons. And there's a very big hill at the end of my street, and I don't remember much from this period in my life but I do remember him saying this. He, he's like, uh, you know, "Every time I reach that hill, you know, I, I run it for you," right? Because he always says, you know, "I wish I could take what you have and put it on myself.”

Mary nods with a warm smile.

BRANDON: And that ... well, I know it was coming from a good place, right? He, he was just trying to take care of his son, but at the same time, I could tell that, you know, he was worried about it. So that just that made me more, like, "All right don't show any emotion about it. Be fine whether you're going through a really bad day or not."

TEXT ON SCREEN: “I feel like a burden to other people.”

MARY: I, do think, and, like, in, I guess, you know, a female's perspective, it, I think it is important, because I bottled up a lot. I bottled up a lot, and it was, it got really dark for me, very dark. It was very, it was very frustrating on my own, so, opening up has actually helped me. I know it's, like, hard, y- you know, um, but it has helped me in the sense that I opened up to my... you know, at least, uh, a therapist; it doesn't have to be a friend, because I feel like a burden to other people. I feel like if I tell my friends, they're gonna feel bad and I get the whole pity party, and I don't like it.

BRANDON: I personally have never spoken about it. This is the most I've spoken about it in my…

MARY: Really?

BRANDON: Yeah ... in my entire life. You know, I haven't seen a therapist or anything like that, I don't talk to it about my family or, or my girlfriend or any of the girlfriends before that. You know it's, it's just not something I talk about because, you know, it's just how I wasn't taught that way.

MARY: It's important to know that it's okay not to be okay.

BRANDON: It's okay... Agreed, it's okay not to be okay…

MARY: Yeah.

BRANDON: But it's never okay to show it. Yeah. You know, that's, that's how, that's probably wrong.

They laugh.

BRANDON: You know, it's pro- it's probably really bad for me. Yeah, I pro- probably shouldn't do that, but…

MARY: I do feel right now that I'm in a confident-ish part of my life. I feel confident-ish. I haven't fully accepted it as I said, but I am able to walk different. I'm able to carry myself different. I still struggle and I cry mentally, internally, as I walk.

Mary giggles.

BRANDON: If I had to narrow it down to, like, a few words, I guess co- confident would not be one of them.

They chuckle.

BRANDON: I think, uh, I understand it. I understand what it's done for me, I understand what, I understand what it's done to me in terms like, of a mental state, and I understand that I have no control over it anymore. I understand that I have control over how I think about it and how I perceive it.

Mary nods with a warm smile.

MARY: Awesome.

Mary and Brandon clap along with the film crew.


TEXT ON SCREEN: Listen. Connect. Share your POV.


DISCLAIMER: This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. © 2022, Incyte Corporation.  MAT-DRM-00420  09/22


Mike, a man with a shaved head, presses a button inside an elevator. Shortly after, he smiles to himself as he steps out through the door.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Two people living with vitiligo are meeting for the very first time.

Kresha, a Black woman with shoulder-length hair, opens a door and enters a sunlit room. In another room, a production crew works behind the scenes and sets up cameras and microphones.

TEXT ON SCREEN: From different backgrounds.

The crew bustles around a set consisting of two lounge chairs and side-tables on a rug. Lighting equipment hangs overhead as one of the crew organizes a bundle of cables. Mike lifts his gaze upward as he stretches.

TEXT ON SCREEN: With different perspectives.

Kresha uses her phone as she sits on a couch in a waiting area. A split-screen shows Mike from behind as he walks across the set.

TEXT ON SCREEN: But with the same goal—to get real about how it feels.

A boom mic hangs over the two empty lounge chairs angled towards each other. Three sunlit windows border the set’s background.

Mike enters the frame and takes a seat on one of the chairs. He shuffles and heaves a sigh, then stands as Kresha approaches with a smile.

KRESHA: How are you?

MIKE: Hi, how's it going?

Mike extends an open hand and they shake.

KRESHA: Good. Are you a hugger or are you a hand shaker?

MIKE: I'm Mike. I'm a hug- well, we can hug it out, too.
They share a hug.

KRESHA: Nice to meet you.

MIKE: Pleased to meet you, too.

They take their seats and exchange a smile.

MIKE: So, first question is, when did this all start for you?

TEXT ON SCREEN: Episode 3 Losing Pigment and Identity

KRESHA: This happened to me a year after I was taken from my mother. They think my cause was severe stress.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: I literally cried for a year.


MIKE: Right.


KRESHA: So, of course, it affects your immune system. But I was 10 years old. So imagine being 10. Not knowing what was going on.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: What's going on with your skin. You're a darker skinned female.

Kresha has patches of pigment loss on her cheek.

KRESHA: I remember leaving fourth grade with pigment. Fifth grade, going back into school, I did not have pigment on my skin.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: Um, it used to be my whole cheek. Like, my whole cheek used to be white. And then my top lip used to be all pink.

MIKE: Oh, really?

KRESHA: And I don't know how or why but, um, some of my pigment has come back.

MIKE: How did that make you feel?

KRESHA: As a kid, confused. I didn't understand why it was happening to me. Like, why is this happening to me? Is it gonna go away? Is it contagious? It was a very still emotional time which I think affected me more.

MIKE: Yeah, it's very emotional.

KRESHA: It is.

MIKE: It's so emotional.

Their conversation is displayed on a small monitor behind the scenes.

KRESHA: Yes, it is. Just because I didn't know what was happening and I didn't know who I was.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: As an adult, I just shielded myself from people so I wouldn't get hurt. Especially, I have a daughter now. She's six. I don't want her to see me unconfident. I want her to be confident, too.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: So, she loves me just like this.

MIKE: Yeah.

TEXT ON SCREEN: “Do you see yourself as Black still?”

MIKE: So, when you first saw me, what was your first impression?

Kresha hesitates and averts Mike’s gaze.

KRESHA: I did think you were a white man.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: I did.

MIKE: And you're not the first person to say that, too.


MIKE: It's, I guess that's my identity.

KRESHA: Do you see yourself as a Black man still?

MIKE: Yeah, definitely.


An old photograph shows Mike smiling as a dark-skinned young man.
A recent photo shows him with white skin and a greying beard.

MIKE: I definitely do. Looking in the mirror, I see myself and sometimes it's still kind of jarring. It's so right there in your face. Yeah, so recently my dad had his 80th birthday and we had the entire family there. This will be one of the first times that I was in any pictures with my brothers and my sisters in, like, a long time.

Old photos show Mike posing with his family. Patches of pigment loss speckle his smiling face.

MIKE: And, um, I saw the results afterwards and it's just, you know, it's like night and day.

Two photos are juxtaposed. One shows his two dark-skinned brothers posing. The other shows Mike completely white-skinned. More photos show Mike with his wife and daughter. As his daughter grows older, his pigment loss progresses.

MIKE: My brothers are dark and I'm completely washed out. And it feels weird to me because being a Black man who's completely lost his pigment and people not knowing that I'm Black. It's so weird.

Kresha chuckles.

KRESHA: Yeah, it is weird. And you want to be accepted by your culture.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: Just for being who you are.

MIKE: Yeah. I love the culture. I love my culture.

KRESHA: Exactly.

MIKE: I love it so much.

TEXT ON SCREEN: “Am I a Black woman? Or am I really turning white?”

MIKE: So, have you ever been criticized about your blackness?

KRESHA: Oh, yeah.

MIKE: How does that feel?

KRESHA: Definitely. When I went to a different city to be adopted, it was mostly Black kids in the school. So, one day, I didn't have any makeup on and someone was like, “Oh my God.” Well, I mean, everybody just went crazy. "What happened to your face? Do you wanna be White? Is that why you tried to bleach your skin? You don't have a skin disorder."

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: And I'm just like, "Oh my God. Why would I try to bleach my face first?"

MIKE: Yeah, you just don't make that decision. “Go bleach my skin now.”

KRESHA: Yeah, so it's just made me feel like, again. Like, I didn't know who I was. Am I a Black woman?

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: Or am I really turning white?

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: It's always been a battle. Even now, people still ask me at 37 years old. People that are supposed to be my friend. "You want to be White." I'm just like, "No, I do not. I love being a Black woman."

MIKE: Yeah, yeah.

TEXT ON SCREEN: “I pray every single day that my daughter doesn’t have to deal with what I’m dealing with.”

MIKE: Well me and my daughter you know, I wanted to have more kids but you know-

A photo of Mike appears on screen holding his baby daughter. His face has pigment loss.

MIKE: This could be passed on. And I just um, I pray every single day that you know, that my daughter doesn’t have to deal with what I’m dealing with…

Mike breaks down into tears. Kresha gives a sympathetic nod and wipes a tear of her own.

MIKE: ‘Cause she’s so beautiful. And um you know, and it’s been stressful and I don’t want her to deal with that stress.

A series of photographs show Mike with his daughter as a baby, and then years later as a young girl.

MIKE: And I don’t want her to deal with people not knowing what’s going on. And I don’t want her to deal with people being rude to her.

KRESHA: I know that feeling.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: My daughter, she had some, um. This summer, she had some lighter skin and I was just on it every day.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: Because I'm like, this is when it happened. Over the summer.

A picture of Kresha smiling with her daughter at a carnival.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: But that was just sun spots.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: But she was like, "I would love to look like you, Mom."

MIKE: Yeah, my daughter asked me the other day, "So, uh, Dad, since you have vitiligo, is it possible that I have it too?" And that was the first time she ever-


MIKE: -you know, gave it any thought. And, you know, I try to be honest with her and just let her know it could happen.


TEXT ON SCREEN: “My skin isn’t who I am.”

KRESHA: I met someone at my daughter's school that was affiliated with the Beautifully Unblemished group. I've never had support before this before.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: So, I get involved with them, and we actually end up doing a Zoom call where there was six different women on the Zoom call.

A selfie shows Kresha and her daughter smiling together. The white patches on her cheek are concealed with make up.

KRESHA: I was, like, the only one that covered. And I was like, I didn't understand like, "Why are you guys so confident? Why can't I be confident, too?"

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: Like, there's a girl there. She's probably mid-20s and she is probably the most confident person I've ever met in my life. And because of her, I stopped wearing makeup out. She's the one that said, "My skin isn't who I am."

A selfie shows Kresha with a beaming smile. The white patches are visible on her cheek.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: And it just makes. The light bulb went off in my head.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: So, because of this group, I've had so much support and how I'm feeling when I'm feeling certain things. Why I'm feeling certain things. How to deal with people.

MIKE: It's the body positive and the, you know, the body shaming that's always happened that I have never felt positive about it. You know.

KRESHA: Really?

MIKE: There's just, there hasn't been any. Like, this is the first time I'm having any kind of conversation with somebody with vitiligo.

KRESHA: Really?

MIKE: Yeah. I still don't like to talk about it.


MIKE: But, it's just, um, it's more personal for me from time to time, you know.

KRESHA: Okay. Okay. I feel like it's kind of, not up to us, but it helps when we are more positive about it.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: And the support really, it helps. I'm telling you. Like, my confidence has completely changed and feeling like I have to cover up something because it's different.

MIKE: I think with the positivity now, as everybody sees us having vitiligo, it's kind of freeing, you know.


MIKE: Kind of gives you a little more elbow room to breathe.


MIKE: But at the same time, it might be toxic because I have not been empowered with it.


MIKE: You know.

KRESHA: I have.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: I have.

MIKE: You see?

KRESHA: Yeah. I feel I'm unique.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: I am 1% of the world. Like, how cool is that?

MIKE: That's true.

KRESHA: That's how I take it.

Mike gives a hearty laugh.

KRESHA: I'm not the other 99%.

MIKE: That's true.

KRESHA: I'm the 1%.

MIKE: Yeah.

KRESHA: I'm the unique one. That's what, that's what I take from it.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: Because only 1% of the world has it.

MIKE: Right.

KRESHA: I want you to have some support.

MIKE: I agree.

KRESHA: I want you to have some support. It makes a world of difference. I promise you.

MIKE: Okay.

KRESHA: Definitely want to get you connected if that's okay.

MIKE: Thank you. I appreciate that.

They laugh together as they stand and share a hug.

KRESHA: Thank you.

MIKE: You're welcome.

KRESHA: Thank you, thank you. This was great talking with you.

MIKE: Yeah, thank you so much.


TEXT ON SCREEN: Listen. Connect. Share your POV.


DISCLAIMER: This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. © 2022, Incyte Corporation.  MAT-DRM-00421  09/22.


Mary’s Turning Points

Living in Miami, Mary is surrounded by sunshine and the outdoors, which can bring different challenges if you're living with vitiligo. Hear Mary’s perspective about one of her hardest moments with vitiligo and learn how she’s overcome it with vulnerability and bravery.

Mixed feelings are a part of life with vitiligo.”


A young Black woman opens the door to a warehouse. Sunlight pours in as she enters. She steps under a spotlight and pauses. The skin around her eyes and mouth has pigment loss.


MARY: I hated having vitiligo. I would go home and tell myself like, "Oh, God, I'm so ugly. I hate my skin." You know…I wasn't able to really enjoy any part of my, you know, life.

Mary fights back tears as she reflects. A video of Mary at the beach is projected on the walls around her. She watches intently.


MARY: Where I grew up in Miami, it's year-round hot. So, hiding was very hard for me. Being dressed head to toe in the heat, I didn't feel cute, I didn't feel on trend. I was ready to just hide completely.

Projection on the walls shows Mary sitting in the sand wearing a wide brim hat and sundress.

MARY: I had a friend with vitiligo, and she was like, "We should go to the beach together, and then you watch, and if you feel confident enough to sort of follow me, then do so.”

Projection on the walls shows Mary wearing a red bikini on the beach. Her arms, hands and legs are covered with white patches.

MARY: We went to the beach that day. She took off her cover-up, and she walked towards the shore. People are staring; kids are pointing. You know, Miami Beach is packed. So, I'm looking, and I'm like, "Wow, she can do that." So I took off my cover-up while everyone is looking.

Mary laughs.
MARY: I start walking slowly, slowly. I was shaking. I was shaking, scared. And I'm like, "What is everyone thinking now? What's going through everyone's head?" But not realizing I made it to the water, which is the furthest I've ever made it, you know?

Mary watches herself walking towards the shoreline then soaking her feet in the water. She reaches out and gently touches the video projected on the wall.

MARY: It's awesome to see how far I've come. I just can't like grasp it. Now, I see it as a beautiful map, I guess, to my journey, my life. There's still like this internal battle where I doubt my beauty and I always will. So I have good days and bad days. Mixed feelings are a part of my life.

TEXT ON SCREEN: There’s so much more to the story


TEXT ON SCREEN: This video is sponsored by Incyte Corporation. © 2022, Incyte Corporation.  MAT-DRM-00422  09/22

Sharing your own POV

Take a moment to reflect on how you feel about your vitiligo. While those feelings are unique to you, you are not alone—there are many others with vitiligo who understand what it’s like. And remember, your point of view is important and deserves to be heard. Sharing your real feelings with your loved ones and the community may be a big help for both you and them.