Young dermatology patients get 'supermodel' treatment while trying to break stigmas surrounding skin conditions

Updated: December 17, 2019 10:27 AM

Fourteen pediatric dermatology patients from M Health Fairview hope their photographs change the way we see those who are different. The idea is to highlight what makes them unique.

"The staring, the bullying. Those are huge problems for our patients, the lack of confidence knowing they are different," said Dr. Sheilagh Maguiness, a pediatric dermatologist with M Health Fairview.

Patients were given "supermodel treatment" with this project, posing for renowned fashion photographer Rick Guidotti. After a career of photographing supermodels for magazines like GQ and Life, he launched a nonprofit called "Positive Exposure" to promote authentic beauty.

Six-year-old Jax Lester was one of the models. He has a rare skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum, which means he has an extreme sensitivity to light. His parents said the portraits empower patients like Jax.

"I hope everyone who sees these photographs sees the beauty in these children that we as parents see in them," said Amanda Davis, Jax's mother.

Fourteen of Guidotti's portraits are now hanging at the M Health Fairview Pediatric Specialty Clinic, but Positive Exposure has exhibited in hospitals, businesses, and museums all over the world.

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Ellen Galles

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