BASHIR AZIZ: When it comes to Instagram comments,
I do get good ones and I do get bad ones. “Yeah, you literally look like artwork” or, “What colour
is your private part?” BASHIR AZIZ: People ask all sorts of questions, like, is it a burn? Is it a birthmark? Is it, what happened, simply. Is it skin cancer?
Some people just want to know, some people just literally, just curious. It’s not out
of like, say being rude. I just know that it’s a different colour on my skin. BASHIR AZIZ: It’s not contagious. You won’t
catch any illness from it. It doesn’t affect your health. COMM: 23-year-old Bashir was born with a condition
called vitiligo – which causes the skin to lose pigment and colour. BASHIR AZIZ: On my skin myself as you can
see, it’s affected me down the middle and in my hair as well. It can affect your
hair or some people don’t know that it can affect your hair but it can. BASHIR AZIZ: There were treatments that they
gave me for vitiligo because I did go to dermatologists for a long time. One guy was literally,
“Okay, well because it’s quite extensive why don’t you go white?” I mean if like,
what the hell? Like, are you serious? Trying to tell me to change race, literally trying
to tell me to change my identity and that’s dead. So I’d rather – if anything – represent
both races. COMM: As there is no known cure for vitiligo,
looking different is all Bashir has ever known. COMM: But over the years he has noticed a
change in his skin. BASHIR AZIZ: So I was born with vitiligo.
Like I said 80% of my body, but now my skin pigments over the years have just come back
to life. So it’s like say, I don’t know 50% now or 40% even. I’m happy that basically,
it’s doing the work that it is supposed to do biologically, but at the same time,
I’m unhappy that like, like I’m even not special no more, yeah. BASHIR AZIZ: It’s a bit of a mad thing,
I’m not going to lie to you. This is when I was like I don’t even know, nursery? And
you could see how wide it is there in it, like you could see my vitiligo literally,
it touches from eyebrow to eyebrow at the beginning. BASHIR AZIZ: Alright it still does, but like,
as you, I don’t know if you can zoom in but like, you can see like the bridge almost
as to like where it’s filled up over the years. I feel two ways about it: I feel happy,
I feel happy that, I see, I don’t, I don’t know. I feel unhappy. BASHIR AZIZ: This is another picture, these
ones kind of get to me. My mum, she used to like go to doctors and they used to give like a
makeup thing. BASHIR AZIZ: I got like majority of these
look: makeup, makeup, makeup, makeup. I don’t know if it was for my sake or it was for her
sake but like, she just did it anyway just to cover it up, just to make, I don’t know,
the staring less, to fit into the crowd, I guess? To, I don’t know, less pressure on
me and her maybe. You never know how it is. Like I did wear a lot of makeup. Here I am chilling – look swag from early, yeah? Brown face makeup. BASHIR AZIZ: From my young age, I didn’t
want to cover up my skin. But I also did feel uncomfortable about, like I said the way people
look at me and stuff like that. BASHIR AZIZ: I was bullied for a bit. People
would call me like say, a cow or zebra. It did have an impact on me with all that name
calling because it would affect anybody’s confidence just as bullying does. When I got
older, it affected me in like loads of different ways: getting girlfriends, socialising, talking,
opening up. Just doing new activities that required me to show my skin like swimming,
etc. COMM: But as Bashir got older, he started
to think differently about his appearance. BASHIR AZIZ: But you have to be yourself,
you have to love yourself and in that way people just love you. BASHIR AZIZ: When you don’t love yourself,
how the hell do you expect other people to love you? BASHIR AZIZ: If I was to continue with that
attitude like, ‘Oh, I hate the fact that I’m alive, I hate the fact that I’m short,
I hate the fact that I’ve got two colour skin,’ and all of this, all of this, all
of this and whatever that excuse may be like, if I was to carry on like that, I would not be
as happy as I am. COMM: A big turning point came when Bashir took his look onto social media. Instead of
shying away from people, he became proud of his unique look and now enjoys showing off
and celebrating his skin. BASHIR AZIZ: Vitiligo has improved my life
in a mad way. I do think I’m both an artist and a piece of art. A lot of people see
my work and recognise it and now they just like alright cool. Social media certainly
helped me love myself because you upload a picture on Instagram and then like we leave
it alone and then like two hours later, you come back to like 30 comments and 50 likes
and you just like, all this love of this one photo. That’s encouraging me to do more
and more artwork or more of this or more like this or it has made me feel better as a person
so maybe I can actually talk to this girl because, do you know what I mean like, whatever
works. But, yeah, it definitely works. BASHIR AZIZ: Obviously when I was younger,
I did wish that it would fade away. And I don’t mean going, I mean going, yeah, so. BASHIR AZIZ: But as I get older, I literally
appreciate every individual thing and not even just about myself, about every other
person as well. Everyone that decides to showcase their uniqueness. RUDY SAYEGH: Well, I would say what Bashir
looked at once as a disadvantage in his life is going to end up being his biggest tool. BASHIR AZIZ: My final conclusion about it
is that I wish that it just literally stays the way it is. I even notice these spots
coming back here, here, here, here. BASHIR AZIZ: I have a feeling in 10 years,
you’ll see a different pattern. Hopefully it’s still as nice as this one.