Vita Bernik was born like any other normal child. Her parents did not see any difficulties with her until the age of 8 months. That is when they realized that she was not showing the progress a child of her age should have like crawling or trying to sit up or trying to stand.
Upon visits to some doctors and then meeting a specialist, her parents found out that she had been diagnosed with a specific condition known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Vita's muscles were growing weak day by day and her lungs were also getting weaker. Vita had to opt for a wheelchair from a very young age.
In 2012, she had to go for scoliosis surgery, during this time she also suffered weight loss which made her body-conscious as per her comment. Later on, as she started to grow older, she had to go through multiple tough phases in her life, Vita could no longer breathe herself, therefore she had to use BiPAP breathing aid 24/7 for breathing and she still wears it all the time. Talking about it in a video that has gained more than 80 thousand views on youtube, she said:
"At first it was difficult to accept it, but eventually I asked myself why would not I accept something that helps me, basically, live."
Vita had always been self-conscious about taking her pictures, which changed with time.
Despite her condition and her accepting herself the way she is, she still sometimes gets backlash from the online community. She said:
"There are like "Elephant" comments. But I always say that elephants are cute."
Life changed for Vita Bernik in the year 2019. She posted an ad on Facebook asking for the services of a personal assistant, which grabbed the attention of a local photographer, who asked her to participate in a photoshoot & she said yes.
This shoot was a success and she was snapchatted by a reputable modeling agency soon after this shoot appeared online.
Her mother is very proud of her modeling career. As per her mother:
"I am very proud of her modeling career. She is totally different person now, she is very self-confident. She got her kilos up, she is finishing school, she is writing a book which I am very proud of. She feels good in her skin, her body, if you feel good with yourself then I think it shows on the outside."
Vita Berkin says, she believes that she is challenging the modeling beauty standards. She believes that models have very strict standards to follow, but now that she is modeling, she thinks it is great to have different models.
Talking about her ownself after getting comfortable with her own skin, she said:
"I think beauty means feeling good in your own skin, no matter how you look, no matter how others think of you. To people that feel sorry for me, I would say that I don't and neither should they."
Recently it was announced that SMA could be treated, when Vita went in to get more information, she had to go through some other tests before she could opt for treatment. But things changed for her once again.
Upon getting checked, it was diagnosed that she really did not have SMA and her condition can not be diagnosed with any possible name for it and she will have to wait for more time till it can be found out or treated.
Despite all the difficulties, what is great is that Vita Berkin has found her confidence and belief in her beauty back. She has become really strong and the kind of self-love that she has been blessed with after opting for the modeling career, she for sure will do great in her future despite her undiagnosed condition and inspire millions of people around the world.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
Mary Kay Ash