38 years old Iomikoe Johnson is an author, and the business owner of My Confidence Is Contagious. She has been featured on various social media platforms and many articles have been written about her. Iomikoe modeled for Skin Deep: The Skin I’m In (an exhibition By celebrity photographer Ferrell Phelps) and appeared on a television show called ‘This Morning.’ Currently, she is filming a Movie by Lydia Moore called Birthmark, and writing her second book called The Girl That Spotted The World.
Today, Iomikoe is seen as an inspiration for the vitiligo community. But, it hasn’t been an easy journey. For years, Iomikoe hid her vitiligo beneath makeup and went into depression. From contemplating suicide to self-acceptance, it’s has been an emotional roller coaster ride for this beautiful, confident woman who was proclaimed ‘Vitiligo Goddess’ by Buzz Feed.
Iomikoe noticed her first vitiligo patch in 2004. “As a child, I was already teased for having dark skin, but when I turned 25, things took an ugly turn. I was judged, strangely stared at, and called the cow, spotted leopard, batman’s sister, and Dalmatian. This only made me feel uncomfortable and stopped me from loving the skin I was in. I have been asked if I was burnt or had mud on my face. People even assumed that I was bleaching my skin. At first, I couldn’t handle it. So, I wore makeup to cover my vitiligo for 12 years.”
Iomikoe is inspired by Winnie Harlow’s success story. She also drew inspiration from Maya Angelou’s book, Still I Rise and felt empowered by Beyonce’s Pretty Hurts, and India Arie’s I Am Not My Skin. Just like Winnie, Iomikoe loves her vitiligo today. “God loved me so much that he gave me a gift of two skin colors. I am glad that he trusted with it. It took me over a decade to see my true beauty and look at myself through Gods eyes. I don’t know how I would live without my vitiligo now,” the ‘vitiligo goddess’ pours her heart out.
Iomikoe feels that people with vitiligo are finally being seen in positive light. “These kids with vitiligo deserve to have someone to look up to. They should feel represented in all forms, be it books or movies.”
When we asked Iomikoe to leave us with a message for fellow vitiligo fighters, she indeed had something special to share: I know having Vitiligo may seem hard for those who have not accepted it. It’s okay to feel how you feel but it’s not okay to harm or beat yourself up for it. We must embrace the skin we’re in and be proud and honored that the God chose us to look different and be unique. I want women and young girls to embrace their uniqueness and know that you can do anything you set your mind to”.
We wish Iomikoe all the best for future. We want her to remain the way she is – a beautiful, confident woman who is representing vitiligo in a positive light.