A man bullied for his rare skin condition has defied his tormentors and become a magazine model.
Curtis McDaniel, from Bordentown in New Jersey, USA, was 11-years-old when white speckles appeared on his skin caused by vitiligo – an autoimmune disorder that stops cells from producing pigment and affects 1% of the world’s population.
His face and body developed large white patches and bullies labelled him ‘zebra’ and ‘Michael Jackson’, while kids would run away from him crying.
But at 17-years-old, the teen stopped seeing his condition as a ‘curse’ and a couple of years later was scouted as a model after uploading a selfie online.
“Skin is so materialistic, you have to love who you are and to find something you love about yourself on the inside, that’s important.”
Now Curtis models while studying and hopes by proudly showing his skin he’s inspiring others with vitiligo to not hide away.
Since embracing his condition he’s found people are more attracted to him for both his appearance and his personality.
Curtis said: “It’s pretty cool, people like the pattern of my skin and also the confidence I have too, I never could have imagined this would be my life now.
“Whenever I model or speak I don’t want people to see my skin but my heart, I want them to see my heart through my skin.
“A lot of people have told me that when they first saw me they liked my skin but what was most attractive was reading about me as a person, that’s what makes them fall in love with me.”