Our Community Skin stories Joti At lot has changed since Joti Gata-Aura realised she had vitiligo back in 1999. Having just finished university, the condition had a massive effect on Joti’s life. The formerly self-assured woman in her early 20’s had vanished, losing all her confidence because of the disease. Joti explains, “During the initial years, I went through a number of treatments both through the NHS and privately. I practically tried and tested everything out there but nothing worked. I felt so restricted with the condition, that I wouldn’t wear what I wanted for fear of what people around me would think.” Twenty years on, Joti is a completely changed person. After the birth of her children, her perspective on life started to change. “Jumping into a swimming pool and taking part in activities with my children were things I didn’t want to miss out on – I couldn’t let vitiligo stop me,” she explains. Joti also fulfilled her dream of becoming a secondary school teacher at an all-girls school. She works hard to pass on a body-positive perspective to her students. “Body image is so crucial these days, I believe that young people need real-life role models, as well as celebrities, to help them learn to accept and love themselves for who they are,” she says. In 2018 Joti has spoken about her condition on the radio multiple times and appeared on a BBC3 documentary ‘MisFITS like us,’ alongside others with vitiligo. The programme was positive and empowering, inspiring Joti to tell her story to even more people. She is keen to help educate others, raise awareness of vitiligo and promote acceptance of the disease.