10.10.2014 | Chantelle talks at TEDx Teen in London

Chantelle talks at TEDx Teen in London

"Remarkable Disruptors" is the theme of the inaugural TEDxTeen London that focuses the conversation on teens and their power to change the world. The motto of the conference is that "If you're good enough, you're old enough." There are literally thousands of ambitious teens striving to make their way in this super fast digital world and change it for good, but only few make it to TEDx Teen. 

From the official TEDx Teen website:

"The fashion industry has a new leading lady, who is serving up stunning images and redefining the global definition of beauty. Chantelle, who was diagnosed at age 4 with vitiligo, the skin condition that was made infamous by Michael Jackson, spent her youth bullied and tormented for her differences. Through all of the vocal and often volatile doubters, she believed her 5’10 frame, modelesque features and internal beauty could see her through to her dreams of becoming an international super model and spokeswomen for others with low self-esteem. At age 16, a local Toronto journalist, Shannon Boodram, discovered Chantelle and shared her story in a YouTube video. The video received over 150k views, as well as features in The Daily Mail and Access Hollywood. Her maturity, beauty and message resonated with fans around the world. Before her 18th birthday, she found herself encouraging people all over the world through her growing social media platforms.

With her emerging success online, the fashion industry began to turn their heads her way as well. Despite being rejected by every single modeling agency in Toronto, designers, photographers and runway directors began to see the beauty that the rest of the world could see. Unrepresented, she was invited to walk in several Fashion Art Toronto shows in 2013. From there, she had several of the city’s top photographers clamoring to capture her. Along her unprecedented ride to notoriety, that same year, America’s Next Top Model producers caught wind of Chantelle fever. After being discovered by Tyra Banks, Chantelle was requested to compete in the 21st cycle of America’s Next Top Model. Even though Chantelle was Canadian and visibly had vitiligo, Tyra was ready to make all exceptions necessary to make a lifelong dream come true for this young girl who refused to be held back by her own skin. Cosmopolitan, Access Hollywood, Buzzfeed, The Insider and MTV all agree that Chantelle is the next IT girl, and anyone in the know can safely rest their hopes and dreams in this new face of beauty as well."

 Watch Chantelle as she speaks about her vitiligo story today. TEDxTeen London will stream LIVE from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (GMT) on TEDxTeen.com, O2 ThinkBig (O2thinkbig.co.uk/livestream), MTV Act (act.mtv.com) and MTV Voices (mtvvoices.com)Remarkable Disruptors. 


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Why Is It Important

There are a lot of people who don't want you to stand up for your rights and demand a cure. They say vitiligo is not life threatening and not contagious, and you must embrace a life of a pariah, hiding yourself from sunlight and from the society.

Vitiligo is an under-researched disease resulting in milky white skin patches on the skin. The breadth and complexity of the disease require international collaboration in therapy development. The severity of the disease calls for national healthcare support.

So, speak up for your condition and your rights. Sign the letter to tell the UN Secretary-General that you want recognition and support. It would be appreciated if you could give every member of your family or group an opportunity for signing.

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