This past February, Amy Deanna made history when she became CoverGirl’s first model with vitiligo, debuting in a commercial featuring the brand’s truBlend Foundation. In a 15-second clip showing her applying the foundation, Amy asks “Why try to blend in when you can choose to stand out?” The commercial, which already has more than 3.2 million views on YouTube, is part of CoverGirl’s I Am What I Makeup campaign, which illustrates the CoverGirl’s mission of inclusivity and the idea of expressing who you are unapologetically.
One month later, we sat down with our newest CoverGirl to ask her for her tips on modeling with vitiligo and how she got to where she is today. Here’s what she had to say:
Take care of yourself first
First and foremost, Amy was quick to reinforce the importance of self-care and confidence. “You need to be comfortable in your own skin and be able to break through your insecurities,” said Amy, reflecting on her own time in the industry. “If you’re not in the right space mentally, or if this isn’t absolutely what you want to do, you won’t go into it so easily.” The model admitted that she had experienced the cut-throat side of the industry and how difficult it is to be judged. Being mindful, she said, along with putting your health first and having a sense of confidence, is key to making it in the industry. Today, Amy tries to focus on taking care of herself by being healthier, working out and eating better.
Be patient and willing to put in the hard work
Despite CoverGirl making Amy an overnight celebrity, her story with modeling wasn’t quite so instant. Amy got started locally, networking with photographers in Texas who wanted to build their books. “A lot of photographers who are starting out are looking models to trade their time for photos – it’s mutually beneficial.” One project turned into another and Amy found herself traveling to New York and Mexico for shoots before CoverGirl reached out to her. “I got a message on Instagram from an agent,” said Amy, who shared that she wasn’t looking for modeling work at the time but was thrilled at the opportunity.
Be your own publicist
“Social media has been really important for me in getting noticed,” said Amy, who is currently on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Amy also talked about her use of hashtags – especially #vitiligo – which played a big role in how CoverGirl’s agents were able to find her. According to the CoverGirl, you need to be willing to put yourself out there, join the conversation and promote your own work.
Just be yourself
Today Amy is happy showing her spots, but that wasn’t always the case. “At one point, I bought $100 of makeup and tried to cover all of my vitiligo, but I actually like how I look without all of that,” said Amy, who credits her distinct look with her ability to work with and inspire photographers on shoots. “That wouldn’t happen if I was covering my spots or trying to be someone other than who I am.”
Give back when you’re given a voice
“This is an opportunity for all of us,” said Amy of her CoverGirl campaign. “I’m grateful that I get to help bring awareness and educate people. I hope to move awareness far enough that people see vitiligo and know what it is.” For Amy, the chance to have a platform is a chance to help those around you. “I have struggled with vitiligo, and still struggle,” said the model. “I want the world to just see it and know, oh that’s vitiligo, not ask ‘what is vitiligo?’”
Watch Living Dappled’s Live Interview with CoverGirl Amy Deanna
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.