IT Cosmetics Founder Praises Gap for Child Model With Vitiligo

IT Cosmetics co-founder praised Gap Kids for using an 11-year-old model with vitiligo. (Photo: Getty Images)
IT Cosmetics co-founder praised Gap Kids for using an 11-year-old model with vitiligo. (Photo: Getty Images)

There really is beauty all around us.

Jamie Kern Lima, the co-founder and CEO of IT Cosmetics, recently went on Facebook to share her enthusiasm about the young model whom Gap chose to feature in its latest line of children’s clothing. Here’s what the entrepreneur had to say:

So who is this young lady in the window?

April Star is the 11-year-old model behind Gap’s latest ad campaign for its Gap x Disney Beauty and the Beast Collection. In the promotional video that’s labeled #fearlessbeauty, she admits to having taken 4.3 million selfies.

“Confidence is courage,” she states.

According to an interview with the young model’s mother in 2015, April was diagnosed with vitiligo — a disorder in which white patches of skin appear on different parts of the body due to a lack of melanin, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases — at the age of 6. In school, she had to deal with children mocking her appearance, which caused her to be “really sad all of the time,” as told to BuzzFeed.

However, with the love and support of her family, as well as from model Winnie Harlow — a Canadian model who shares the same skin condition as April — this brave girl decided to share her beauty in front of the camera.

In fact, April defined confidence to BuzzFeed as “being yourself and never being afraid of showing anyone the real you.”

And now, nearly two years later, April is empowering people of all ages to be fearless, as well as thanking them for cheering her on.

So it’s understandable why Lima would express such a passionate response to this ad on social media. After all, the 39-year-old launched her $1.2 billion company based on her own skin care needs. Lima, a former news anchor, developed her makeup line (IT stands for Innovative Technology) in her studio apartment to cover the red blemishes on her face, caused by heredity rosacea — a chronic disorder that primarily affects facial skin and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions, according to the National Rosacea Society.

Those familiar with Lima’s appearances on QVC and infomercials know that she has no inhibitions about revealing her skin condition, as she is regularly seen wiping away the makeup on her right cheek to uncover her hyperpigmentation.

In a recent interview with New York magazine, Lima discussed the harsh remarks she’d receive about her appearance during her days as a local news reporter.

“My weight fluctuated, and I was always getting in trouble about it from my producer,” Lima told the publication. “Viewers would write, ‘I really like you, but you should diet.’ Or, ‘Are you pregnant?’ The criticism crushed me.”

This stress exacerbated her rosacea (along with causing her eyebrows to fall out), which set Lima on a quest to find makeup that would hide her imperfections.

“And that’s why I developed products … that are all about your most beautiful you,” Lima told Good Morning America. “Every woman is beautiful, right?”

Absolutely. And thanks to both Lima and April for the reminder.

Read More:

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