Rare Skin Disease Hasn’t Stopped This Beautiful Girl from Becoming a Successful Model

19-year-old Chantelle Brown-Young is perhaps the world’s first and only model with vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. Vitiligo is the result of a malfunctioning immune system, has no cure and affects less than one percent of the world’s population. It’s the same disorder that pop icon Michael Jackson suffered from. In Chantelle’s case, the condition almost ruined her life. That is, until she decided to turn it around.

As a child, Chantelle became an easy target for bullies. “While growing up, I was teased, ridiculed, and bullied and called names like cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs,” she said. “The continuous harassment and the despair that it brought on my life was so unbearably dehumanizing that I wanted to kill myself.” Her mother, Lisa Brown, said: “Chantelle is a sweet, beautiful, outgoing teenager and while she was being abused, I didn’t stop praying that God would help me find a way.”

Eventually, Lisa’s prayers were answered. The family moved from Canada to California, and Chantelle decided that in her new life, she wouldn’t be limited by her condition. She realized that she was in control of her destiny, if only she was prepared to change the way she saw herself. So instead of blaming her skin condition for all her troubles, she started to embrace the flaw. She also pushed back the negative energies and the negative people who surrounded her.

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Photo: Chantelle Brown-Young/Facebook

Her new attitude must have made a great difference; it wasn’t long before others began to notice her beauty as well. A flood of opportunities came her way – photo shoots, magazine spreads and a chance to star in America’s Next Top Model. Chantelle is currently a finalist on the hugely popular TV show, and she’s even had the chance to pose with the queen of the runway, Tyra Banks.

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Photo: Chantelle Brown-Young/Facebook

“I want to be America’s next top model because it’s a lifelong dream,” she said in her pitch video. “I am the underdog and I want to prove that one can follow one’s dreams despite all the flaws and setbacks.” Supporting her wholeheartedly in her mission is her family – her parents and her younger sister, 10-year-old Christina.

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Photo: Chantelle Brown-Young/Facebook

“I can’t stop thanking God for this wonderful blessing,” said Lisa. “I am just so thrilled at my daughter’s turnaround, with her new level of confidence, and the fact that her high school recently invited her back there to do a motivational talk to the children.”

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Photo: Chantelle Brown-Young/Facebook

Apart from modelling, Chantelle spends her time serving as a speaker and ambassador for the vitiligo community. Today, she is an inspiration for all those who are mocked because of their appearance. She says that things have worked in her favor because she accepts her originality and the way she is supposed to be. “I loved myself. And with that, opportunities start to fall into my lap. And I thank God for all of them. Try loving yourself.”

 

Sources: Inquistr, Jamaica Gleaner


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