BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Words hold power. They can affirm, transform and, for some, even manifest.

A Baltimore teen author is using her words to do all three while inspiring others to forgive their flaws and embracing her own.

Rayne Stewart has embraced every twist in her hair and every drop of melanin in her skin. She was diagnosed with vitiligo, a skin disorder that makes a person lose pigment in their skin.

For Stewart, that shows up mainly in her nose and chin. Still, she has learned to adapt.

“Vitiligo makes me me,” she said. “I wouldn’t be Rayne without vitiligo.”

With support from her mom, Stewart has embraced her new beauty ideals, but it was another transition that brought anxiety.

“My self-confidence problems really started when I was told I was to move schools,” she said. “So that really brought up a lot of insecurities and problems and worries and bad thoughts about whether I would be judged and bullied.”

She ignored the anonymous social media bullies and put pen to paper, diligently writing what would become “Perfectly Different.” The book is aimed at letting kids know they’re not alone and having some self-doubt is normal.

It wasn’t always an easy journey, she acknowledged.

“I did get discouraged and unmotivated… but I continued and the final project was just amazing, so I’m glad that I never stopped,” she said.

Now, her courage is inspiring others and helping them learn how to love themselves.

“You criticize yourself more when you get older or as you grow up, she said, “so I think it’s a good idea to instill the confidence and loving yourself into the kid so when they grow up or see different things or realize that they are different they learn to love their differences.”

Regardless of the nature of one’s insecurity, Stewart hopes people learn to embrace themselves for who they are.

“I feel like when you love yourself, life is just better, ultimately,” she said.


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