To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Albino woman cruelly called ‘ghost’ by bullies gives powerful message to others who feel ‘alone’

Albino woman cruelly called ‘ghost’ by bullies gives powerful message to others who feel ‘alone’

Oceanne says bullying in her younger years left her feeling isolated but she's since turned it all around

A woman with albinism was picked on by cruel bullies who nicknamed her ‘ghost’ due to her fair skin but says making pals online has helped her embrace her condition.

Oceanne Comtois was born with albinism - a rare genetic disorder that affects the production of melanin, which is the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes. She is also partially sighted.

Growing up, Oceanne, 24, says that other kids would tease because of her unique appearance and she struggled to make friends, leaving her feeling isolated and alone.

Oceanne, from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, said: "When I was very young, kids didn't really realise the difference and so everything was great and I wasn't really a victim of bullying early on.

Oceanne Comtois was born with albinism.
Kennedy News and Media

"But as I grew up and got older and people started to learn about the differences between different people in society, I think children did really start to see me a little bit differently.

"That's when the bullying started because I physically looked different from other people.

"I'm visually impaired and legally blind as a result of my albinism so I couldn't see like the other children could and started to be treated differently.

"When I was in the seventh grade everyone started wearing makeup around me and I wasn't someone who could easily shop for it because of my fair complexion.

"The comments that people made about me were about my experience being legally blind and having sight loss.

Growing up she was taunted by other kids due to her unique looks.
Kennedy News and Media

"Sometimes in the school yard they would purposefully try to run away from me to watch how funny it was when I couldn't find them."

She continued: "In terms of my physical appearance, other children who were strangers told me that I was ugly for being so pale, called me a ghost or compared me to their pet rabbit.

"It hurt me, but what hurt the most was how they'd treat my vision loss. That's what really affected me.

"It really made me feel different and it felt really isolating."

But in 2019, Oceanne joined TikTok and used it to educate people about her condition.

She has since gained 200,000 followers and has been flooded with messages of support, which she says have helped her confidence grow.

She joined TikTok to try and educate others about her condition and has since found a huge supportive community.
Kennedy News and Media

Oceanne said: "I don't feel isolated at all anymore.

"Social media has kind of pushed me to embrace my condition and I'm really thankful for it.

"When I started posting I received a lot of comments about my appearance, and it would affect me and really hurt my feelings.

“Nystagmus [uncontrollable shaking of the eyes] seems to be what people will say is 'scary, ugly' or that I'd be more beautiful if I could stop my eyes from shaking.

"I almost didn't want to answer the comments but I started addressing them and educating people.

"I don't really take those comments to heart anymore, but it hurts me that there could be some young people with albinism who are really impressionable or may be struggling the way I used to.

"Also surprisingly a lot of others with albinism started to reach out."

Oceanne says she no longer takes mean comments to heart.
Kennedy News and Media

Oceanne added: "They told me that they'd never seen anyone with the condition before and that they really valued how I was able to talk about it and myself so openly and confidently.

"I think that pushed me to continue feeling more confident about my condition and to keep sharing.

"I think ultimately it was the support I had from people in my community that's allowed me to continue to share openly and build that better relationship with myself.

"There are amazing positive comments and people are so kind with what they say.

"I'm a lot better about vocalising my feelings and not really taking things personally. As a child, everything feels like the end of the world, especially as a teenager."

She also has a message for others with her condition who may feel 'alone'.

"If I was speaking to somebody who had my condition, I'd say that you can feel really alone at times." she said.

"Although it doesn't feel like it, I promise it gets better. While it's something that hurts, it gets better."

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Life, Health