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Confidence Is Key with Kennedy Newton

Photo by @CTEPhotography When I started the Milan Rowe brand, it was imperative for me to develop a cosmetic brand that was inclusive. Not only did I want to provide options for women of all skin tones, but it was critical to also take skin conditions into consideration. Part of our mission is to establish […]

Photo by @CTEPhotography

When I started the Milan Rowe brand, it was imperative for me to develop a cosmetic brand that was inclusive. Not only did I want to provide options for women of all skin tones, but it was critical to also take skin conditions into consideration. Part of our mission is to establish a product line that makes women feel confident and beautiful. Suffering with a skin condition is difficult enough, sourcing the right makeup should not be a daunting task. I had the opportunity to interview Kennedy Newton, a model and influencer. Kennedy was diagnosed with vitilogo when she was 8 years old. She spoke to me about her experience with the skin condition and how she overcame her insecurities.

You are a model with a skin condition known as vitiligo which is categorized by a loss of pigment. I imagine when you were growing up that you had to deal with some cruel people and their comments. Can you tell me about such a situation and how it affected you?
One time when I was feeling particularly low, I was bullied in middle school. I was in my reading class and there were four boys that surrounded me. At the time, I was insecure about my face and dealing with kids in middle school was difficult because of their insensitive comments and words. This particular day, these four boys were moo-ing at me, calling me a cow, and asking me if I was black or white. This one boy in particular by the name of Hector was the one that would always have something negative and mean-spirited to say about me. As I grew older though I realized that I was one of a kind and unique. I would have a lot of people call me beautiful. Gradually as I got older, I began to recognize and appreciate my beauty.

How do you define beauty? Very simply, I define beauty as one’s individuality. No one person is the same and that is beautiful.

Phot by Zavier Deangelo for Milan Rowe

How do you define confidence? Confidence is owning who you are and wearing it as a badge of honor.

Describe a moment in which you did not feel beautiful and how did you overcome it? When I was first diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of 8, I did not know anyone with vitiligo so I felt different and not “normal”. Because of I was so young, I did not know how to handle it so I did not feel beautiful. However, as I grew older, I realized that I was one of a kind, unique, and beautiful.

Define self acceptance to you. Self acceptance to me is having unconditional love for yourself despite the flaws you may have or think you may have.

Who is a person in your life that you look up to and why? How did that person help you to grow into the person you are today? I look up to my mother, she is a strong individual who practically raised me on her own and molded me in to the person I am today. I look up to my mother. She taught me what confidence is and how to be a strong individual.

In the age of social media, how do you use social media to advance positive images of beauty? I use social media to show off my confidence and beauty to the world. I hope to inspire others to love themselves.

What advice would you give to a young girl that lacks confidence and self-esteem in her appearance with or without vitiligo. In order to for you to gain self-confidence, you must love yourself on the inside and out. Loving yourself first will allow others to love and appreciate you.

Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it? My favorite quote is “beauty begins the moment you decide to love yourself” which was stated by Coco Chanel.

Kennedy Newton

Instagram @curly_kennedy

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