On and episode of The Real, model Winnie Harlow surprised one of her biggest fans, 10-year-old aspiring model April Star. The two have the same skin disorder, vitiligo, and their exchange reflects how powerful and important it is for a young person to find a role model they can relate to — and who looks like them.
Before Ms. Winnie made her appearance, The Real‘s Jeannie Mai asked Star who her idols are. She says the names of two models who have skin disorders: Ms. Winnie and Shaun Ross. Mai then asks Star what she would say to Ms. Winnie if she ever met her. “You are probably the most confident person that I know on Instagram, and I wish that I could meet her,” Star says.
So Mai suggests they give Ms. Winnie a call… and once they get Ms. Winnie on speakerphone, she reveals she’s actually backstage.
Already in tears Ms. Winnie sits down and say:
“Every time I see [Star] all over the Internet, I see the little girl I could have been at her age,” Harlow says.
“The confidence I have now … I had none of at her age so when I see her all over the Internet and social media, I see the little girl that I wish I could have been.”
The Real hosts asked Winnie what advice she’d give April, to which Ms. Winnie replied:
“I don’t think she needs any advice. She is perfect. She is headed in the perfect track. She is a step ahead of where I was at her age.”
Take a look: