April Star, a model and active 10 year old, is taking to the internet and redefining beauty one effortless glamour shot at a time. April Star has been diagnosed with vitiligo and has different shades of skin that cover her body. She was diagnosed at age 5 with the condition, but was inspired to continue her passion for modeling by model Winnie Harlow, who had also been diagnosed with vitiligo. April did not give up after being diagnosed, and her messages of beauty ring just as true for someone diagnosed with depression or struggling with mental illness.
April encourages others to be different and her Instagram is titled “redefinedmybeauty”. She brings up an incredible point. What if women of all walks of life wore their various diagnoses with this level courage and grace? I have been diagnosed several times in my life, from a heart condition to depression, and every time I received a diagnoses it felt as if who I was had changed. A medical diagnosis may at first be life altering as it gives us an identity we previously didn’t had, but that is where redefining comes in.
A diagnosis brings preconceptions and boundaries, but a diagnosis also brings community and help. For women suffering with mental illness and addiction, a diagnosis is a way of identifying needs and starting the recovery process. At Brookhaven Retreat®, LLC we focus on addressing your diagnosis and nurturing you through treatment. We provide a retreat for women and by women to receive help for depression, anxiety, PTSD, drug abuse, and to recover and heal from various life events that may take a toll. When diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or PTSD, seek treatment and support. You will find you can better see the beauty in yourself when seeking help, not shame or guilt.
Your diagnosis becomes a part of you because it is part of your healing journey, but as a part of you, it is beautiful. There may be fear of what others think, and anxiety related to a diagnosis, as there is with any illness. However, with courage you can find others that want to support you.
April Star’s diagnosis is physical, yet mental illness has almost the same stigma as that of the physical stigma she has faced. In an interview with PEOPLE magazine April said, ”The message I am trying to give everyone is that you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful…” and I couldn’t agree more. Often times women let their idea of perfection be their definition of beauty, but this just isn’t true. Being perfect does not equal being beautiful, and being perfect is not being you. Physical and mental diagnoses help define the parameters of what is healthy for you. You have to accept who you are, and get the treatment that you need to be the healthiest you.