Shefali Sharma is a medical student and fashion model. She aspires to win the Miss Universe title for India. She is doing her MBBS course from Bhopal and a regular participant at various international and national level beauty pageants in India. Since her childhood, she is dealing with Vitiligo and aims to change the perception of society about this ‘innocent’ skin condition and to give hope, confidence and a sense of freedom to the fellow people with vitiligo.
People with Vitiligo can do everything and anything, including modelling and acting
Living with vitiligo is quite an exhausting experience. Facing public stares, their strange questions and occasional discriminatory behavior can make a person shy, hesitant and low in self-esteem. Shefali Sharma wants to change this mindset by making a name for herself in the fashion industry. For modelling, you have to look good, photogenic and above all, a lot of self-confidence and self-belief. You need to learn to enjoy people’s attention rather than shying away. Shefali wants to prove that the people with vitiligo can excel in all walks of the life, including fashion and glamour industry. (1)
Winnie Harlow inspires Shefali
The confident and adventurous Shefali takes her inspiration from Winnie Harlow, a Canadian fashion model and vitiligo awareness advocate. Winnie is an inspiration to many of the young women with skin ‘imperfections’ to fulfill their dreams of becoming a fashion model. (2)
Her father is her pillar of strength
Shefali’s father has played a vital role in nurturing her dreams and encourages her to fulfill them. He inspires her to live her life fiercely by converting weaknesses into strengths.
Shefali wants to become a dermatologist
Apart from winning the Miss Universe title, she wants to study dermatology to make the lives of people with vitiligo and other skin conditions easier.
Miss World 2017 was also a medical student from India
In 2017, another medical student from India, Manushi Chillar, won the Miss World pageant. So, we hope that Shefali would win the Miss Universe title anytime soon as they both have certain things in common 🙂
Vitiligo is medically non-dangerous
Vitiligo refers to loss of skin pigment (skin’s natural color) due to the immune system’s faulty response. It is not caused by any external bacteria or virus. Hence, it doesn’t spread from one person to the other. Moreover, neither it is dangerous nor painful. In short, apart from affecting the skin color, it doesn’t have any effect on the general well-being of a person. But, the lack of social awareness and acceptance due to myths and misconceptions can restrict a person from living life to the fullest.
We need more ‘Angels’ like Shefali
It needs a lot of courage and compassion to embrace your ‘imperfections’ and come up strong to inspire others.
The world needs more beautiful women like Winnie Harlow, Shefali Sharma and Asifa Bhutto Zardari who are redefining the meaning of beauty by challenging the ‘outdated’ social norms.
Shefali Sharma is breaking the shackles of ignorance and myth to make this world a better place to live for people with vitiligo and other skin conditions. More power to her!