Although only 1% of the world’s population lives with vitiligo, awareness of this condition has grown exponentially over the past few decades. One of the biggest contributors to this trend? Famous people with vitiligo who have become the face of the condition to the general public.
To date, perhaps the most famous person with vitiligo of all time was Michael Jackson, who openly shared his experience with vitiligo during the Oprah show in 1993. Since that time, there have been a number of other public figures including actors, chefs and dancers who have chosen to share their stories publicly. Meanwhile, the shift in media and advertising towards embracing diversity has allowed for vitiligo models and influencers to gain prominence.
Here are some of those famous people with vitiligo–including celebrities, models, singers, influencers and more.
Celebrities with vitiligo
Although not every celebrity who has vitiligo has made it well-known or become an open advocate for the condition, there are several who have shared their stories publicly. Here are just a few of the famous people with vitiligo who are also celebrities.
Michaela DePrince: Michaela DePrince is a Sierra Leonean-American ballet dancer. She first rose to fame with the documentary First Position in 2011 that followed the lives of young ballet dancers as they prepared to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix. She was diagnosed with vitiligo at a young age, which was viewed as the “devil’s curse” in her motherland. She was placed in an orphanage because of this and faced much neglect there.
Jon Hamm: Jon Hamm is an American actor best known for his role as Don Draper in the period drama series Mad Men, for which he won a Golden Globe award. In fact, he started showing signs of vitiligo on his hands during filming of Mad Men. In a 2015 interview, Jon Hamm expressed the stress he experienced during filming had triggered the onset.
Holly Marie Combs: Holly Marie Combs is an American actress best known for her roles as Piper Halliwell in the WB series Charmed and Ella Montgomery in the Freeform series Pretty Little Liars. She has vitiligo that covers her hands. While it is covered with make-up sometimes, she has always been very vocal about her journey with vitiligo.
Amitabh Bachchan: Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian actor, film producer, and former politician known for his work in Bollywood. He is commonly referred to as the “Greatest Actor of the Century” in Hindi cinema and has received numerous accolades for his contribution to the arts. Although he has never publicly spoken about his vitiligo, several media platforms have mentioned his vitiligo and Mr. Bachchan has never denied the reports.
Dean Edwards: Dean Edwards is a celebrity chef who is famous for his regular appearance on ITV’s “Lorraine” since 2010. He has vitiligo affecting his hands, which he initially used to cover with heavy makeup. However, recently, he has been more vocal about his journey with vitiligo and has also been displaying his depigmentation with confidence.
Famous models with vitiligo
Brands ranging from fashion and beauty to health and wellness companies have started embracing diversity in their marketing–and that includes those with vitiligo. Here are just a few of the famous models with vitiligo who have been seen on the runways and in ad campaigns.
Winnie Harlow: Winnie Harlow is a Canadian model and public spokesperson on vitiligo. She was first diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four and faced a lot of bullying as a child. However, with the support of her family and the confidence they instilled within her, she pursues her dream of modeling. She was the first person with vitiligo to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, has been on the cover of countless magazines, and has been the brand ambassador for Puma.
Amy Deanna: Amy Deanna was CoverGirl’s first model with vitiligo. She was also part of the brand’s #IAmWhatIMakeup campaign featuring their TruBlend foundation. Instead of using the foundation to even out her skin tone, she used it to embrace her spots.
Alec King: Alec King is a London-based fashion model who has walked the ramp at London Fashion Week and been the face of many billboards and brands throughout the city. He noticed his first patch of vitiligo at the age of six and has publicly embraced it. In interviews, he has stated that living with vitiligo has given him the opportunity to grow and reflect in many ways.
Curtis J McDaniel: Curtis J. McDaniel is a magazine model and part of MTV’s documentary, True Life. He was 11 years old when he first developed white patches throughout his body. Due to bullying at a young age, he thought his skin was a curse. After his modeling career expanded, he developed a different outlook on his skin and uses his platform to educate others.
Famous singers with vitiligo
Even singers have been vocal about their vitiligo and even drawn inspiration for songs from their experiences with the condition. Here are a few of the famous singers with vitiligo.
Krizz Kaliko: Samuel William Christopher Watson IV, known by his stage name Krizz Kaliko, is an American rapper and voice artist. In fact, he gained fame in the 2000’s with his debut album Vitiligo, titled after his experience with growing up with vitiligo.
Sisqo: Mark Althavan Andrews, more famously known as his stage name Sisqo, is an American singer and record producer best known for one of his hit singles “Incomplete.” He was one of the founding members of the R&B group Dru Hill. According to doctors, his vitiligo may have been triggered by stress.
Tamar Braxton: Tamar Braxton is an American R&B singer who started her career in the 1990s with The Braxtons, a group formed with her sisters. She was diagnosed with vitiligo, which has mostly affected her hands, at a young age.
Famous social media influencers with vitiligo
On channels like Instagram, Tik Tok and YouTube, influencers with vitiligo are choosing to share their stories and document their lives with the condition. For some, that means sharing tips specifically for those with the condition while for others, it’s about inspiring confidence by just being themselves.
More Famous People with Vitiligo
The list doesn’t stop there–here are even more famous people with vitiligo.
- Lee Thomas: Emmy-award winning and 4x Emmy award nominated broadcaster at WJBK Fox 2 Detroit
- Rasheed Abdul Wallace: Retired professional NBA basketball player who is now the assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons
- Karl Dunbar: American football coach for the NY Jets
- Graham Norton: 5 time BAFTA TV award winner and Irish comic presenter who is the host of The Graham Norton Show, a comedy chat show based in the United Kingdom
- “Fez” Marie Whatley: American radio host and comedian who is best known for being a producer on The Ron and Ron Show in Florida
- Scott Jorgensen: American mixed martial artist competing in the UFC flyweight category
- Bryan Danielson: American professional wrestler known as the “American Dragon”
Rachita Pandya is a medical student with an interest in clinical dermatology. She hopes to empower and educate others on how to embrace their skin. In her free time, she likes to cook, travel, and spend time with friends and family.