7-year-old boy with a rare genetic condition lands a modelling job because of it

7-year-old Samuel Silva from Bahia, Brazil was born with piebaldism which his mother and grandmother both have. Piebaldism is a rare genetic condition that has given the family a line of white patches on their foreheads and hair. According to the Daily Mail article, this is due to a lack of melanin in those areas.

When he was younger, his mother Nivianei de Jesus Purifiçao, 41, shaved off his hair because she feared he would be bullied.

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The family recently embraced their condition, including Samuel’s, and posted pictures of him online. The pictures were picked up by the modeling agency Sugar Kids, and that was the beginning of his modeling career in 2017. According to Daily Mail, “he has since featured in publications such as Junior Style London, Bazaar Kids, Dixie Magazine as well as appearing in Toronto Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and London Kids Fashion Week.”

Growing up, Samuel’s mother was nicknamed Free Willy, the killer whale from the 90s movies. She subsequently shaved her son’s head fearing that he might experience the same fate. 

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Not all of Samuel’s siblings have the condition. His older sister Andreia was not born with it, and his mom was hoping he wouldn’t have it either. 

People’s initial thoughts are that Samuel is a burn victim due to the patches on his head, forehead, and some parts of his body. 

Samuel’s mother, grandmother and cousins with the same condition. Image: Daily Mail

The depigmented skin of people with piebaldism cannot be cured or medicated. Samuel’s grandmother Dona Dionisia has been living with the condition for 65 years. 

Children born with this condition are generally healthy, and doctors never raise any medical concerns, and, therefore, never treat the condition either. 

His Instagram account has over 30K followers, and he has truly become the face of inclusion in the modelling industry. His story has also been written about and shared internationally. 

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