20-year-old Nontobeko Mbuyazi was born with albinism. She says she’s been bullied her entire life for her fair skin and visual impairment.
However, she’s approaching a point in her life where she’s trying to embrace her unique look rather than let the words of other’s discourage her.
“People online tell me I look like a ghost… asking where my eyebrows are, and why am I so pale,” she says. “In real life, I have never experienced that kind of bullying before; it’s only ever online.”
However, the mean words has had the opposite effect on Mbuyazi than the bullies intended.
“It’s made me stand up for myself and, because of that, it has made me want to be a better person,” she explains.
Mbuyazi has chosen to show off her beauty rather than hiding it from the world. She is now a model and an advocate for self-love.
“Many albinos out there are experiencing depression because of being discriminated against and bullied. I refuse to be one. I am the one that is proud of who I am,” she says.
In addition to modeling, Mbuyazi is studying criminology in Durban, South Africa.
She says that despite how rude people can be on the internet, she is always “amazed” at how nice people are in real life.
“Ironically, it has boosted my confidence. I think I am beautiful and my skin is beautiful,” she says with pride.
And she wants to send a message out to anyone who may be dealing with similar issues. She says, “I want all the albinos out there — who feel like they are not good enough because of bullying — to know that they are beautiful.”