10-Year-Old April Star was born for this. And by "this" we mean modeling!
Recently, Winnie Harlow surprised aspiring model, April Star, with a photo shoot by Creative Soul Photography and my oh my, did baby girl do that! As she smiled and smized throughout her entire shoot, the inspirational April proved that age and experience are nothing but a numbers game when it comes to natural born talent.
In the end, the kid model turned the professional, vintage set into her own personal slay-ground:
If you recall, earlier this year, April was a guest on The Real, where she met her idol and fellow model with vitiligo, Winnie Harlow. During the emotional episode, Winnie broke down while she applauded the young star, who has been living with the skin condition since six, for her strength and confidence.
"Every time I see April all over the Internet, I see the little girl I could have been at her age. The confidence I have now I had none when I was her age. So when I see her all over the internet and social media, I wish I had all that confidence. She’s really the embody of me right now [at 21].
Similar to Winnie, this past year April has became somewhat of the face for kids living with the autoimmune condition that effects 1 out 100 kids (with those odds being 1 out of 20 if a parent has it). Characterized by the uneven distribution of melanin throughout the skin- or "white patches," the small Star has impacted the vitiligo community in a big way--often posting inspirational quotes and captions on her Instagram, a page that her big sister helped create for April as part of a project to help build her confidence. Our personal favorite quote from April is:
[Tweet "Just because you are different, doesn't mean you can't make a difference. -April Star"]
As a reward for being so amazing, Winnie and the ladies of The Real gifted April with her very own professional photo shoot, which she was sure to share some behind-the-scenes from as well. April, who is expected to appear on the show again later today, revealed that since her appearance, she has been approached by tons of modeling agencies and companies, as has also become the ambassador of Philadelphia Kids' Fashion week.
Sounds strange, I know, considering the fact that there is no actual cure vitiligo. I had just started my first real career as an editor and as I got familiar with the office space, I noticed pictures on the wall of former staff, specifically a beautiful Black woman with dark brown dreads and a huge smile.
Every few pictures, which represented every few months, this particular woman's skin would make it more apparent that she had vitiligo--from her arms, to her neck and face. It was spreading. At the same time, her smile was also fading. It's as though as the discoloration become more apparent, it chipped away at her confidence. By the time I came to the final year of her time with the company, there was a huge group photo, but this time, she was completely white. Her dreads had been dyed blonde and her smile was back.
I guess while trying to put the pieces together, our head marketing guy walked up next to me, looked at my face and then looked at the pics. "Oh yeah, that's *Shonya. She 'had' vitiligo. When it got real bad she bleached her skin. To even it out, you know?" What's scary was that I nodded my head, as if I did "know" that this was the only thing that made sense to do with a case as severe as hers.
In April's shoot, it's clear that she the tween-queen is confident. She is resilient, and of course, she is stunning- as is! I love her for that. Once limited in definition, young ladies like April and supermodel Winnie Harlow really are redefining beauty. Sure, it's not always easy; April admitted last year that she was still struggling to accept her look:
“Sometimes I would want a a cure for my condition. Because sometimes I do feel that way and sometimes I don’t. But I’m very proud of myself now and I don’t care what people say. When people stare, I ask them if they want a picture or I tell them they are ‘staring at all my beauty!'”
Amen April! At the end of the day, our self-esteem may lose the battle but in the end, it's our confidence, and true inner beauty, that will always win the war! #EmbraceTheFace
Check out tons more fierce flicks from the kid super model in the gallery below!