Profile: Maddie Woytovich

Why did you choose to attend Philadelphia University?


From as far as I can remember, I have always wanted to pursue fashion; either design, styling, or really anything that involved clothing! Someone recommended PhilaU to me for fashion merchandising and, surprisingly, I had actually never heard of the school or major before! I decided to visit for a Discover Fashion Day, and after that one visit it became my #1 choice/ dream school. I knew it was the perfect fit for me!



What is your major and why did you choose it?


My major is Fashion Merchandising and Management. My love for fashion started around when I was five years old. I have an auto-immune disease called, Alopecia, which basically means I am allergic to my hair and have had no hair on my entire body for 14 years now. When I was first diagnosed, I was very insecure about it and tried to cover up as much as I could. When it got to a point where I was unable to hide it anymore, I gravitated towards hats and bandanas. I had every hat you could possibly imagine and wore them everywhere. When I finally became comfortable enough, I stopped wearing hats and, instead, used fashion as somewhat of an outlet. I realized that although I was unable to get trendy haircuts or braid my hair like all of my sisters, I could accessorize with jewelry and clothing! I really think that is wear my love for fashion began and I have been into clothing ever since. That time in my life really forced me outside of my comfort zone and pushed me to stand out and embrace my uniqueness. I definitely incorporate that mindset into my style and life every day.


What do you do in your free time?


This past year has been very exciting and busy for me! In the fall, I launched my website where I make videos and blog about my Alopecia, fashion, music, and lifestyle. My parents have a worldwide non-profit that helps kids with Alopecia gain self-esteem and confidence, so I help out with that a lot and actually speak to schools and camps across the country with my dad teaching kids that it’s okay to be different. Along with writing for my own blog, I also write articles for an online magazine, Broke Girl Mag. I am a huge fan of art and music. Seeing live shows and concerts is one of my favorite things to do- there is just no feeling like it! Thrifting is another one of my favorite hobbies.


Have you had any really cool opportunities lately?


Over the summer, I posted a photo of myself in an Aerie bathing suit and tagged them in it on Instagram. Long story short, the company saw my picture and reached out to me asking if they could feature my photo and Instagram handle in stores and their window displays all over! I obviously said yes, and It was launched almost a month ago. Since then, the feedback and messages I have received have been completely surreal! I can’t imagine being part of a better and more powerful movement that is so important to me, personally. I mention it in my blog frequently, but I have dealt with body image issues for most of my life, and even last year would not ever want a picture of me posted on social media because I was so insecure about the way I looked. So, the fact that a photo of me in a bikini can be seen now in Aerie stores all over the country is a very big deal for me and I could not be happier! Self-love and radiating positivity are two of the most important things to me and happens to be one of the topics I talk about when I speak to schools. My motto is “USE YOUR DIFFERENCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE” and I think that this Aerie opportunity is a perfect example of this quote! Just knowing that I could change someone’s life by simply having my photo hanging up in Aerie is amazing and is why I put myself out there! You can help so many just by sharing your story. The whole experience is still pretty unbelievable to me and I could not be more grateful!