Even though vitiligo isn’t life-threatening, it can make any kid or teen feel different as long as he/she is subjected to hateful remarks, strange stares, and bullying in school. Thankfully, we have brands like Primark that has decided to represent kids and teenagers with vitiligo in their advertising campaigns for its new ranges of children’s active wear and casual wear.
In our previous blogs, we have enlisted several brands that are using marketing as a tool to break down beauty barriers and include a demographic that may feel left out. Recently, Primark joined these brands to embrace vitiligo friendly advertising. The fashion brand made a bold statement by signing Kaiden Williams, a teen with vitiligo for its latest campaign for cloth stores.
The 13-year-old from Wolverhampton says that he has been inundated with messages from others with the skin condition. That’s not it; the move has also been appreciated by shoppers of all age and classes who have praised the high street giant for championing diversity.
“I showed this to my mum, who always struggled with my vitiligo, and she smiled”, someone commented on the brand’s Facebook page. Shankar Jalota, one of the most 10 Most Attractive Vitiligans (2018) – Men, quoted in an interview, “It’s not every day big brands take on the ownership of diversity – especially in the fashion industry – and what a great champion he (Kaiden) is. It’s made me think about my own experience in growing up with vitiligo. I needed a vitiligo champion like Primark’s new model when I was a teenager.”
Well, Kaiden is being rewarded for his confidence with a campaign with one of the leading fashion brands in the world. For so many of us and so little representation, it’s truly groundbreaking and empowering. Here are 3 likely impacts of the campaign:
1. Self-acceptance and Self-love
Kaiden who appears both on the website and on posters in store, in an interview, revealed that he used to hide his vitiligo. Ironically just like Kaiden, many kids go through the whole process of hiding ‘it’ with makeup and then being extremely conscious about the way they look. The campaign can encourage kids with vitiligo to be proud of their uniqueness. When kids with vitiligo see themselves represented in popular culture, it can make them feel more accepting of whom they are.
2. Anyone can do anything
It’s not a secret that many kids aspire to model or act in the television/movies. While not all have such clarity regarding their career, many have a clear vision from their childhood. However, with low self-esteem and a bad self-image, many may kill such dreams.
With some vitiligo representation in popular culture, kids will have someone to relate to. For kids with vitiligo who have never seen anyone who looks like them in fashion magazines and ad campaigns, this inclusivity move by Primark will have a huge effect on their self-esteem. They would be able to restore their faith in their dreams. It will make them believe that a career in fashion modeling or acting is accessible to all.
3. Changed mindset
“The overwhelmingly positive response to Primark campaign shows that featuring more people with vitiligo will help address the stigma around the skin disorder and prove that true beauty is about being proud to be yourself. It would contribute to change the mindset of people. By making vitiligo a topic of conversation, campaigns like these can burst common myths associated with vitiligo.