#ShareYourStory With Sonya: A Malaysian Vitiligo Model Who Hopes To Inspire The World By Making It A Kinder Place Through Her Own Journey

“At the end of the day, the only person who has full control over your mind and feelings is yourself. You can either let others define you, or you can take control and define yourself. Continue to do good, and life will fall into place in its own time. It all starts and ends with you!” – Sonya

This Is Sonya‘s Story

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“I am outgoing, quirky, loud and always keen on learning something new. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about them and the stories they carry within!” 

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Sonya is currently 27 years of age and currently works as a freelance model, marketer and body positive advocate. She moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a degree in business and fashion marketing, which was the best decision she has ever made in her life. 

“The reason I ventured into modelling is because it was always something that I wanted to do but never really had the confidence to pursue.” Though she had sheer admiration of beautiful women around her, she also felt out of place due to her skin condition, especially when she was always judged by the people around her because of how different she looked like. 

Diving deeper into who she is as a person, in her own words, “I love reading, spending time with my friends and family, hiking, working out, painting, travelling, trying new things, watching my favourite series, playing dress up and even the simple pleasures of life like enjoying an ice cold beverage with some good food and good company during a sunny afternoon.” 

Fun Facts About Sonya

Let’s get to know Sonya a little more other than her skin condition! We asked her what superhero would she be and what kind of superpower she would love to have. 

She answered, “If I could be a superhero, I would be someone who is able to take away pain and heal others from the pain they are feeling. I feel like there is so much pain in this world, and so many people are suffering silently because of the pain they’re feeling, and if given a chance to take that way, I would love to be able to have the superpower to heal their heart, soul and mind.” 

We love how unique her superpower is! Most people might want superpowers that help them to teleport, fly, and so on. But to Sonya, she wants to heal others from pain. 

Aside from that, she also loves to play with animals and have deep meaningful conversations with like minded people. She also is the type to say yes to any spontaneous activities! “These are some of the many things that truly bring joy and happiness to my life,” Sonya shared. 

Dealing With Vitiligo, A Long-term Skin Condition 

It all started with a mere little dot on her face when she was only 8 years old. As she grew older, her skin started to change further, which leaves her resorting to treatments in hopes for a cure. 

“From a young age, I started going for several treatments with hopes of curing my skin condition, however, there wasn’t any cure for me. Although there were a couple treatments that would change my skin back to its original color, as soon as I stopped the treatment it depigmented again and I was back to square one.”

It wasn’t easy for her growing up. She faced snarky remarks, comments and people asking questions about her skin condition. Her insecurities sometimes took a toll on her. 

“It didn’t help that I was constantly bullied due to my skin condition, which eventually took a toll on me mentally and emotionally. It felt like a constant battle between the people who picked on me, and my own insecurities. I had to deal with bullies while I was at school, and when I was out in public, I was often in situations where people would stare, make comments, and ask me questions in regards to my skin condition.” 

However, as she grew older, her confidence grew as she learned to accept herself for who she is and viewed her skin condition in a positive way. 

“Today, it just feels like something that I am meant to live with and it has its own purpose for me. I guess God has greater plans for me and my duty is to flow along with it and learn to overcome everything that comes my way.” 

Her Modelling Journey Despite Having A Skin Condition 

“One day, I woke up and realized that I had enough. I was tired of feeling helpless, drained, and lost. I decided that it was time for me to start doing the things that I was always too afraid to do, and to embrace every part of me, despite the outcome.” 

From that moment on, she decided to embark on her modelling journey with the aim of changing the world by sharing her story and has never looked back since! 

She hopes to inspire women all around the world to pursue their dreams, despite what others have to say. 

“Everything I do is so that other girls out there will be inspired to follow their goals and dreams, and to do what makes them happy regardless of the standards society has set.” 

You might have figured modelling was her main source of confidence, but it did not start from there. It was actually due to her experience living in the US where it was a much more open minded culture. That was when her confidence started to build up. 

“Though my confidence did not stem from my modelling journey, I definitely feel like it played a big role in the development of my life. I realised that I was finally able to stand up for so many men, women and children who have also felt like they never belonged or weren’t beautiful enough according to mainstream beauty standards.” 

Her love for meeting new people is something she is able to do throughout her modelling journey as well, which is her most favourite part about it! 

“My favorite part about it is meeting so many talented and like minded individuals who are making a difference in this country.” 

Learning To Love Yourself Is A Lifelong Journey

Having a skin condition isn’t the main highlight of Sonya’s story – it’s about building your own self-confidence by loving and accepting yourself wholeheartedly. 

“Regardless of what people may say about you, the most important thing for you to do is to stay true to yourself and believe in yourself. You can be a 100% perfect and people will still find something to judge you for either way, so you might as well just do whatever it is that brings you happiness. Never let anyone bring you down or convince you that you’re not good enough.”

Sonya also shared that once you start to show yourself some love and kindness, that’s all that really matters. “We need to constantly treat ourselves with love, kindness and compassion, and allow ourselves to reach our goals and fullest potential despite all the challenges we are faced with.”

“You only get one shot at this life you’re given – so try your best to do everything you can to live a happy and purposeful life – not because someone else told you to, but because you want to!”

Her Advice On Those Who Are Struggling With A Skin Condition

If any of you are currently going through the same thing as she is, it can be a tough journey. That’s why Sonya is out in the open, in hopes she could inspire others and make the world a better and kinder place. 

“My advice would be to just be yourself and not worry too much about what other people think or say. It’s easy to get caught up with what we see on social media, and try to fit into certain standards, however, doing so will only make you lose your identity. In the end, you should always do what makes you content and happy,” Sonya said. 

“Our minds can either be our greatest strength or our greatest weakness. It is up to us to curate a life that we want for ourselves.”

We hope Sonya’s story has inspired you the way it inspires us, to learn how to accept yourself for who you are and never let negativity get in the way of achieving your dreams! 

Do you have your own story to tell? Drop us an email at: [email protected] 

Sonya’s Instagram: @sonyadanita


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