EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CoverGirl’s newest model raising vitiligo awareness

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DALLAS -- When it comes to feeling beautiful, CoverGirl's newest beauty queen, Amy Deanna, doesn't let anything stop her -- including her rare condition.

The 23-year-old Texas-native is making headlines and history as CoverGirl's first model with vitiligo, a skin disorder that causes her to lose pigment and develop white patches.

"I'm getting responses from mothers and fathers of little girls that are saying their daughter was diagnosed with vitiligo at seven and seeing my commercial changed things for them," Amy told NewsFix.

Of course, with positive comes the negative.

"I think there's some backlash because I did cover a spot on my chin in the commercial," Amy explained. "I did conceal a little bit but CoverGirl wanted to be inclusive of everybody and some people with vitiligo do choose to cover themselves.

Amy, however, knows how to handle the hate, especially since she's been living with vitiligo for about six years. The condition is so rare that the American Vitiligo Research Foundation says only 1% to 2% of Americans have it. There are many reasons a person can develop the disorder.

"For me, it was, personally, stress," Amy added. "My brother was killed when I was 18. It was my senior year in high school so it was a difficult time for me and then there was also the underlying that I have Graves disease, but at the time I didn't know. When I'm very stressed out I notice that I get new spots."

Amy's confidence is what CoverGirl picked up on for their commercial.

"I did a vitiligo hashtag and I have my portfolio on my Instagram, so when they saw my portfolio they were like, 'Wow, this girl, she looks amazing. She looks super confident. Why don't we reach out to her?'"

This isn't the company's first model changing the beauty game. You may remember their first male model, James Charles. CoverGirl's mission to be more inclusive is part of their new campaign, "I am what I make up."

According to Amy, neither makeup nor vitiligo define who she is.

"Vitiligo doesn't define who I am but it is definitely a part of my identity," Amy added.

Watch Amy's full CoverGirl commercial below:

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