Voices is a series of interviews with influencers, social media personalities, and overall badass women who are speaking out about self-love. Hand-selected by self-love mentor and wellness advocate Sarah Sapora, the series' goal is to cultivate an honest conversation about love and acceptance and highlight the perspectives of women living boldly. Inspired by her own journey to creating a happier and healthier life from the inside out, Sarah uses her platform as a social influencer to create a community for women, both on- and offline, based around a single powerful idea: “I stand, you stand… and together, we rise the f*ck up.”
The Voice of... Amber Nicole Williams
Most people associate vitiligo — a skin condition that causes pigment-producing cells to die — with long-running rumors about Michael Jackson's changing complexion as he aged. Causing dark skin to turn white in patches over time, the disease has no cure and can last anywhere from a few years to an entire lifetime.
I will admit that up until recently, I never thought about what it was actually like to live with the vitiligo even though I think a LOT about the importance of showing beautiful bodies of every size, shape, and color. When I came across Amber Nicole online, then — a college student and a graceful, intelligent woman living with vitiligo — I knew she was a woman who needed to be seen and heard.
Over the course of my recent conversation with Amber Nicole, I learned a lot. Here’s what she had to say about self-love, growth, and living your purpose.
What is your name?
Online, my name is Amber Nicole Williams. I would have preferred it just be "Amber Nicole," but on Instagram every name is taken. I usually just go by Amber Nicole.
Where do you call home?
Home is definitely East Rogers Park on Chicago's North Side.
Who is Amber Nicole?
Who am I? I am a girl with a lot of ambition who wants to be a change in the world. I want to empower young men and young women to love themselves while not limiting themselves to what they see.
For every girl that has vitiligo, I want them to know that you should love yourself and feel like you’re beautiful, but also know that you don't have to go into modeling to prove that you love yourself. I want them to know that you can go into any field that you want to. You just have to be confident!
Why do you share your life online?
I share my life online because I want people to see that you shouldn’t be afraid to show who you really are.
What does Amber Nicole believe in?
I believe in God. I believe that everyone is here for a purpose. I believe that every experience — good or bad — and every person — good or bad — comes into your life for a reason. I believe that God doesn’t give you anything you cannot handle. I also believe that there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it. I believe that you should speak good and be around good consistently. I believe that you should be very intentional in the people and things you see, watch, listen to, and surround yourself with. I believe that ... whatever you’re giving yourself, whatever you’re taking in, that’s what you’re going to be giving out as well. I believe in always trying to put out good vibes and be around good vibes.
When you were little, what did you want to be “when you grew up?”
When I was little I always wanted to be an artist.
What’s your favorite curse word?
What turns you on the most in life?
When someone has a good heart and a good spirit.
What turns you off?
Just nasty people, negative people, doubtful people. People with like a lack of ambition or goals.
What is one misconception you think people have about you?
I’m going to contradict myself here: I think everyone assumes that I am already modeling or that I want to model. I don’t exactly want to model, but I enjoy taking professional nice pictures. I’ve been going to an art school; I can draw and paint and things like that, so I like doing things that are creative. People always think that I’m a model or that I want to model but that’s not necessarily the case. I don’t want to be a professional model.
Do you believe in the idea of second chances?
Yes. I believe that everyone should get one second chance but not a third.
Singing in the shower or singing in the car?
Singing in the car.
What do your online “haters” say to you?
I don’t have online haters. I actually do not get hate comments or hate messages, thankfully. I feel like I have more real-life haters and I don’t say much to them. At the end of the day, you can’t change how anybody feels about you.
Pudding or pie?
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from sharing your life online?
That not everyone is going to like what you do. That you have to be very careful about what you say and what you do and what you put online.
Do you believe that people can have a “life calling?” If so, what is yours and are you following it?
Yes, I do believe that people have a life calling. I believe that I should definitely be motivating people. I feel like I have a lot to give, a lot to share, I have a really big heart. I definitely think I should be helping people in some way — either by sharing my story or helping someone get through whatever struggles they are going through in life, appearance-related or otherwise. I think my backup plan was to become a therapist if nothing else worked out.
Imagine every person in the world would stop what they were doing and listen to you talk for one minute. What would you say?
I will probably give a speech about self-love and how important it is to make sure that no matter what, you cannot let someone else steal your joy. You have to protect yourself with all of your being if you feel like someone in your life is trying to tear you down and steal everything that you’ve worked hard to get.
If you could have a conversation with yourself 10 years ago, what would you talk about?
I would tell myself not to worry about what other people think and to be careful who I give my heart to. I would tell myself that at the end of the day, everything is going to be okay.
Tell us about a time you f*cked something up but learned a lesson in the process.
I once messed up my stepdad’s [car's] side mirror. I was Snapchatting while I was driving and I wasn’t paying attention and I was going too fast. I side-swiped someone’s car and I had to pay for the damages. The lesson I learned? Pay attention to what you're doing! (And don’t Snapchat while you drive.)
Who was your first celebrity crush?
My first celebrity crush was definitely Lil' Romeo.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with any person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I would want to talk to Maya Angelou or Michelle Obama about handling life in the spotlight and dealing with all the expectations that are put upon them.
What lineup in a game of “F*ck, Marry, Kill” would you have the hardest time playing?
Idris Elba, Jesse Williams, Keith Powers.
Finish this statement: I am…
I’m a believer.
This interview has been edited for grammar, clarity, and style.