Why Vitiligo Makes This Woman Feel More Attractive
Vitiligo usually develops rapidly in the spring and summer. The condition can be devastating psychologically, particularly in dark-skinned individuals.
A woman suffering from vitilago, a pigment disorder which causes white patches to form on her face and body, says that her rare skin tone not only makes her feel beautiful and exotic, but also makes her all the more attractive to men.
Takeisha Archbald, from Wilmington, Delaware, who is known to her friends as Archie, is African-American, but has white patches covering her nose, lips, breasts, knees and back.
The 37-year-old mother-of-two suffers from vitiligo, a condition that makes the skin lose its normal pigment and develop pale marks. But while many women might be inclined to try and conceal, or cover up the eye-catching condition.
Archie says that she loves the attention it brings, particularly from men, and she can't get enough of flaunting her unique white patches. Scroll down for video
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Diagnosis: Takeisha Archbald, 37, suffers from vitiligo, a rare condition which causes patches of her skin to turn white
Proud: The mother-of-two says she refuses to be embarrassed by her condition, and insists that it actually makes her more attractive to men.
'Men love my skin,' she said. 'They come up to me all the time and ask to kiss my white spots or tie my shoes.
'They call me exotic and beautiful. I love it.' But although Archie has plenty of male admirers, she says that other women are not quite as understanding - or flattering - about her condition.
'Women often come up to me and tell me I should cover myself up or get medical treatment,' she explained. 'I find it really offensive - they seem more bothered by my vitiligo than I am.'
The loving mother, who is the creative director of Miss Fancy Pants, an organisation that empowers young girls, first developed the condition when she was eight-years-old, when she began noticing white patches around her genitalia and knees.
But shortly after she turned 27, she says she woke up one morning and her skin was drastically different.
Strike a pose: Takeisha loves flaunting the white patches that she believes make her totally unique - despite the fact that she is often told to cover up by other women.
Embracing her appearance: While there are treatments available to improve the color of the white patches, Archie says she refuses to change the way she looks.
Another battle: Archie has now been diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the intestines White patches appeared on her face, hands, legs and bottom - and they had not been there the day before.
'My vitiligo had remained dormant for years and years and it wasn't until I turned 27 I woke up one day and my entire face was white,' she recalled. 'It was alarming and an adjustment.'
After seeking treatment Archie was diagnosed with vitiligo, but beyond diagnosing her, there was little doctors could do to treat the incurable condition.
And while there are treatments available to improve the color of the white patches, Archie refuses to change her appearance.
She was also recommended counselling to cope with the sudden change of her skin - but says had no need for it.
She said: 'They said I would have a difficult time fitting into society or that I would wake up a little bit more depressed than others. 'That's never been the case, I'm still a normal woman.
Proud mom: The doting mother refuses to let her illness stop her from living her life to the fullest - and she is determined to pass this mentality on to her daughters, 15-year-old Monica (pictured) and Alexis, 16
Always smiling: Archie hopes that the way she has dealt with her condition will teach her daughters to keep a positive outlook
Unique: 'Vitiligo is who I am and I just don't allow it to take over my life,' Archie says of her condition 'I do like to wear make-up and I do like to feel sexy and all those things but not to the point where I want to cover my entire self up.
'I wear eyeliner and eyeshadow but I don't wear concealer, blush or foundation. 'It already takes me enough time to find accessories, grab the perfect purse, the great shoes.
'I can't see myself taking the fifteen or twenty minutes or however long it takes to cover up every part of my body that's not perfect.
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Now she has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the intestines.
However upbeat Archie is taking Crohn's and vitiligo in her stride and spreading her positive outlook to her two adopted daughters Alexis, 16, and Monica, 15.
But despite Archie's sunny disposition and confidence, some people are quick to judge her because of her marks.
Judgement: Despite her happy outlook, Arche admits that other women are often quick to criticize her for refusing to cover up her skin
Lucky in love: 'Men love my skin. They come up to me all the time and ask to kiss my white spots,' she revealed She said: 'Some of the reactions that I get from people are usually extreme.
'I get those who say: "Oh my gosh you're so beautiful, even with that spot," and I'm like, "Even with? I'm beautiful with or without," or I get the kids who are genuinely concerned.'
Controversially, Archie claims the majority of negative reactions come from women. She said: 'I was at a nail salon a few weeks ago and the beautician refused to look at me for the entire appointment.
'Finally as I was about to pay she said, "Archie, you know they have make-up you can use to cover your face?" 'She assumed I hated the way I look, but I couldn't be happier.'
But Archie gets a completely different reaction from men. She said: 'Men love my skin. They come up to me all the time and ask to kiss my white spots. 'They can't get enough of it.'
Archie, who is currently single, hopes to instill her positive outlook in her two daughters.
She said: 'The one thing that I can say I've taken away from having vitiligo is that you have to either sink or swim, you're either going to own it or accept it and just be confident with it or you're going to allow to take over every aspect of you.'
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