Boy who inherited rare skin condition from his mom lands modeling contract

"Being different is not something we should hide."


Samuel Silva from Bahia, Brazil, is just seven years old and he’s already made a name for himself as one of the best child models. Ever since he was noticed by a modeling agency, he appeared on a number of prominent fashion shows throughout the world, including Toronto Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week and London Kids Fashion Week, as well as many fashion publications.

So what makes this young boy so special? Well, Samuel was born with a condition known as Piebaldism characterized by the absence of cells called melanocytes in certain areas of the skin and hair, which leads to patches of skin and hair to be lighter than normal.

Samuel isn’t the only one in the family born with the condition. His mother, grandmother, and some of his uncles and cousins also have it. It is believed that it affects one in 20,000 people.

Source: Instagram/ shamuelmodel

When his parents realized that his mother passed the condition down to Samuel, they first tried to hide it by keeping his hair extremely short. It was like that because they didn’t want people to stare, but since his mom accepted her looks, she felt that she should also give her confidence regarding dealing with it to her son.

Once Samuel’s Afro hair grew longer, they set up an Instagram account where they posted photos of him. Soon after, it gathered around 30,000 followers, as well as the attention of a modeling agency which offered him a contract back in 2019.

Ever since, he has become very famous.“Nivianei [Samuel’s mother] knew she was different and embraced it with open arms. She wore short skirts and tops whenever she wanted, and always stood her ground against anyone who dared to bully her,” Samuel’s uncle Julio Sanchez-Velo as per the Daily Mail.

“She gained everyone’s respect in the community and would then only receive stares and comments when she left her neighborhood.”

Source: Instagram/ shamuelmodel

Julio also added that the family was never properly diagnosed because doctors believed it wasn’t necessary since everyone was healthy. They simply refer to their white patches as birthmarks.

Because his family taught him to love himself, Samuel describes his markings as “beautiful stains.” He’s not only handsome, but also very confident.

Source: Instagram/ shamuelmodel

“He really loves modeling. He is very artistic and loves to walk on the runway and pose for photographs. He really thrives and you can see it in his face,” uncle Julio told Daily Mail.

“He loves being the center of attention and traveling. He comes from a poor community in Brazil where there are not many opportunities to see the world.

“He has become the face of acceptance and inclusion in the children’s fashion industry, and we hope that other kids who feel different about themselves will see how well Samuel is doing and feel good about their own differences.

“Being different is not something we should hide – we have to embrace it, just like Samuel.”

Source: Instagram/ shamuelmodel

We totally agree with Julio. Differences are what make this world more beautiful.