A woman has revealed how she met her husband on an online dating app after believing her love life was doomed because of the patchy skin covering her body.
Tiffany Taylor, an accounting director from Pennsylvania, developed the rare skin condition vitiligo when she was just 14 years old. Those affected by vitiligo have a lack of a pigment called melanin in their skin that causes white patches to appear in affected areas.
‘Growing up, my vitiligo was something I was so insecure about,’ Tiffany said. ‘I wore makeup to cover it from the day I found out.’
Look of love: Tiffany Taylor, an accounting director from Pennsylvania, has found love with Randolphe Jacques. The two said ‘I do’ in July
Rare: Tiffany has vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses its pigment cells and can result in discolored patches on the body
She would do everything in her power to hide her vitiligo, worried about how strangers and friends would react. She covered her pigment-free patches of skin in copious amounts of makeup to avoid people noticing her ever-spreading condition.
Uncomfortable in her skin and low on confidence, Tiffany’s love life was unsuccessful as she believed that she was not attractive enough to find love.
She met compliments directed towards her with skepticism as she thought these could not be genuine.
‘My dating life and relationships prior to my husband were always doomed because I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin,’ she said. ‘I always thought I was not attractive enough and found it hard to accept compliments.’
In the relationships she did have, Tiffany would always seek approval from her partners due to a lack of confidence — something she now realizes must have been difficult for her boyfriends to deal with.
Looking back: Tiffany, pictured with her father as a child, developed the rare skin condition when she was just 14 years old
Lacking confidence: Growing up, she would cover her pigment-free patches of skin in copious amounts of makeup to avoid people noticing her ever-spreading condition
‘Seeking constant approval isn’t the most attractive quality in someone so it made it hard for me to be a confident partner,’ she admitted. ‘It’s hard to hear someone you care about constantly talking down on themselves.
‘If it was an issue for partners, they didn’t tell me. I realized that I was more of the issue when it came to romantic relationships. I needed to be a happy person alone to be a successful partner to someone.’
It wasn’t until autumn 2017 that Tiffany finally decided to show the world — and more importantly herself — that her vitiligo was part of her identity and should no longer be hidden.
Inspired by photos of other people with vitiligo online, she had professional photos taken of her skin without makeup that quickly gained attention on social media. The positive feedback she received from numerous strangers gave her a huge boost in confidence.
By the time Tiffany met web developer, Randolphe Jacques on a dating app in the summer of 2018, her confidence in herself was at an all-time high. For Randolphe, her vitiligo was no issue, and he was immediately drawn to her sophistication and ambition.
Owning it: Tiffany has learned to embrace her vitiligo and let go of the insecurities that hampered her previous relationships
New woman: Posing for a photoshoot in 2017 helped boost Tiffany’s confidence
Revelation: Tiffany used to fear her love life was doomed because of her skin condition, but she eventually realized it was her insecurity that was the issue
‘When I started my relationship with Randolphe, I had reached a place where I was confident enough to love and have a greater empathy for a partner because I finally had it for myself,’ she said. ‘I was able to love more and accept love.’
After a year together, Randolphe popped the question in September 2019.
‘The proposal was a total surprise,’ Tiffany said. ‘He wanted to take a walk along this trail where we had gone on our third date. It was a perfect moment where he could have kissed me for the first time, but he didn’t.
‘He never forgot about it and took me back there. This time, he got down on one knee and proposed. I said yes.’
Tiffany and Randolphe were married in July, and like most couples who wed this year, they had to reimagine their wedding day because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unsure: Tiffany admitted that she used to think she wasn’t attractive enough to find love, and she had a hard time taking compliments
Candid: ‘Seeking constant approval isn’t the most attractive quality in someone so it made it hard for me to be a confident partner,’ she admitted
Perfect timing: By the time Tiffany met web developer, Randolphe Jacques on a dating app in the summer of 2018, her confidence in herself was at an all-time high
‘We had planned for an outside ceremony, so we were able to keep our original venue but had to reduce the guest count and change the seating setup to be properly spaced out,’ she explained.
‘There was a beautiful arch, flower petals down the aisle, and a trickle sound from a creek flowing nearby. We kept it short and sweet, but still did everything that you would do on a regular wedding day.
‘Our first dance was so special,’ she added. ‘We had it in the middle of the aisle which was covered in flower petals.’
The newlyweds can’t wait to head to St Lucia for their delayed honeymoon in 2021.
Tiffany does receive occasional negative comments, with some people bluntly asking what is wrong with her skin and others staring at her when she goes out. Luckily, these insensitive comments are dwarfed by the positivity she receives.
Confident: Tiffany’s vitiligo has continued to spread across her face, arms, and body, but she has accepted these changes
Beauty: Tiffany made a stunning bride when she married Randolphe over the summer after pairing down their wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Future plans: The newlyweds can’t wait to finally head to St Lucia for their delayed honeymoon in 2021.
‘For every one-hundred positive compliments I receive online, there’s always going to be a hater or someone being negative,’ she said.
‘I have learned to focus on the good and positive in life. It’s so much more uplifting than doing the opposite.’
Tiffany’s vitiligo has continued to spread across her face, arms, and body, but she has accepted these changes and has entered married life with a new sense of confidence.
‘My skin is still changing, but I continue to take on the changes with confidence,’ she said. ‘In the past, I let insecurity hold me back from being confident in everyday situations.
‘I was always insecure and jealous, thinking why would someone want to be with me simply because of my skin. Randolphe quickly didn’t notice my vitiligo. He saw beyond my skin into my heart and actions.
‘I’m finally free and am thankful for every day I choose to stop hiding.’