One thing this week has most certainly taught me is that if we don't fully understand something, if something is not within our comfort zone, it's perfectly okay to reach out in kindness and to ask questions.
James McLeod does not shy away from conversation, he tells his story with beautiful openness and honesty. I almost feel ashamed at having spent so many years trying to disguise & cover up my psoriasis. James is proud of his skin. He has vitiligo, colour pigment is missing from one side of his face, but that is not the first thing I notice about him. It's his unstoppable energy!
I read an article where a journalist talks about interviewing James in a coffee shop in New York and describes this incredible aura and big, wide smile that attracts strangers to him. We're chatting three thousand miles apart via skype, but I can feel that energy through the screen.
There's no doubt about it, James is very attractive. And not despite his vitiligo but because of it. This has shaped the amazing person he is, and the incredible work he does. James is That Vitiligo Guy and you can listen to our conversation here.
The Boy Behind The Face
James is many things. A dj,
a personal trainer, a motivational speaker, an author. His book, 'The Boy Behind the Face' is available here via Amazon.com This is James first children's book. In it he shares his story of growing up with a visible skin condition, dealing with bullying and insecurity, and how he overcame both to become his own superhero! This is a perfect book for children dealing with bullying or self-doubt, or for any child, to teach lessons in kindness and bravery.
My conversation with James was enlightening, uplifting and fascinating. When we're struggling with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, there can be a desperation to cover up until we're healed. With vitiligo that simply is not an option. There are heavy make-ups available, but ultimately this is not a condition that can be cured.
The way in which James embraces his condition made me stop and think about our desperation to constantly cover up what we view as imperfections and differences. James uses his skin as a superhero status to encourage kids to feel comfortable as they are. And with energy such as his, it's impossible not to feel uplifted by his incredible attitude to life.