Obtaining Beauty from the Inside Out:
A Model Shares Her Journey to Loving Her Own Skin
By Kristin Bentley
It is rare to have the opportunity to meet someone whose beauty runs deeper than the skin’s surface, down into the very core of who they are. It’s even more rare for that woman to be a model.
For most women, we must learn how to accept our so-called “flaws” before we are able to truly loves ourselves. Through this journey we discover that our flaws are what make us unique and special; they are what make us who we are in the most humbling way. For Breanne Rice, she was a model by profession who quite literally had to learn how to feel comfortable in her own skin.
At only 19 years old, an age and time filled with immense insecurity, Breanne was diagnosed with vitiligo – an auto-immune skin disorder – as it made its first appearance across her nose. Her doctor told her nothing could be done to treat or cure it. After looking at some photos of people affected by the skin disorder online, Breanne was completely devastated. At the time, she’d been modeling for two years and feared that her career would be over. She felt unattractive and feared judgement from others, so she did what any 19-year-old would do.
She chose to hide her “secret.”
“I was finding my value in what I looked like, at that time,” says Breanne. “It was a lot to handle because it was a permanent thing, and I knew I was going to lose more pigment on my face.”
As Breanne began to apply layer after layer of foundation, spending countless hours in front of the mirror to cover the lightened pigment across her face, she began to wonder how she would ever feel good about herself again. This secret that she kept from even her closest friends was exhausting, both physically and emotionally. “Hiding” is not a healthy way for anyone to feel forced to live, but she did this for over ten years.
Finally, at the age of 31, Breanne decided that she didn’t want to hide anymore. Every day had become a battle, and accepting this “flaw” on her face sprung her into a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Part of the process was being vulnerable to not only her loved ones, but to the world, by opening up about her struggle For Breanne, that meant she had to go public, so she posted a photo on Instagram of herself in all-natural beauty, showing her make-free face and exposing her vitiligo for the very first time. And it went viral.
Breanne’s courage inspired so many that she became a guest on The Dr. Phil Show, a star on TLC’s Too Ugly for Love? – a series based in the U.K. that follows individuals with a medical condition to show how it affects their relationships, career and everyday life – and a contestant on last year’s reality show The Bachelor. She’s also been featured in many magazines, such as People, Cosmopolitan and Teen Vogue. Breanne hoped that taking the step to “be real” would help encourage others to be real with themselves as well.
“I’ve always felt compelled to help other women,” Breanne says. “I wanted my story to inspire others who have insecurities, and maybe don’t fit the mold of society’s standards of beauty, to feel comfortable in their own skin by being confident and loving themselves for how they were uniquely created. We all come in different colors, shapes and sizes. Shit happens, but we can only control how we react to a situation. Coming clean, for me, felt like a big weight was lifted off, and now I don’t have that mindset anymore.”
Through her life-changing journey, Breanne found her calling as a certified nutritional therapy practitioner, helping clients around the globe to be their best self through healthy eating. Since vitiligo is an auto-immune disorder, she also developed food allergies. Her diet now consists of organic all-natural whole foods that provide anti-inflammatory properties and gut health. She removed gluten, egg whites, and all processed foods from her diet as well.
She’s now a media personality and model, well-known in the Seattle area. She appears as a guest speaker at events around the country, motivating and inspiring others to become their best selves.
“When I turned 30, I had this awakening to this new journey,” says Breanne. “So, I embraced who I am, and a part of that was letting go. Things have kind of worked themselves out. You get little pieces of a puzzle, randomly and sporadically, and eventually you see this masterpiece unfold.”
Today, Breanne no longer focuses on perfection when she does her makeup in the morning. She admits that while her vitiligo still bothers her some days, now she often leaves home without any makeup at all. “At first that was weird for me. But now I tell myself that people are looking at my beauty not my vitiligo.”
If we continue to compare ourselves to others, we will never be satisfied with ourselves, says Breanne. “We all have our own journey. When you look in the mirror, focus on what you love about yourself and your own unique gifts and talents. Focus on you, know who you are and your value. Once you have that, no one can take it away from you.”
More Information: http://www.breannesholistichealth.com/