HALEY JAMES

My Story

Hey, I’m Haley James, and while I do a variety of things, such as interior design, run a clothing brand, create content on YouTube, host multiple podcasts, write blogs, model, act, and all things creative, my true calling is using my story, experiences, talents, and passions to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

From a young age, I have always been interested in various forms of creative expression, such as fashion, design, and storytelling, especially when I could apply a depth of meaning behind what I was doing. Although I had an interest in modeling, acting, and the art of both fields growing up, I didn’t fully commit to pursuing them until after I became sick and realized that I was suddenly in a unique position where I had a passion for something that could really help others at the same time.

Like many others living with chronic, rare, and invisible diseases, my story and road to diagnosis was a long one. For the full story, check out my YouTube page or blog (both linked at the bottom of the page). The cliff notes version is that I was perfectly healthy until one day senior year of college I began getting stomach aches after eating. It went on for a while until it hit a point where there was undeniably something really wrong. I saw doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist for FIVE years. A time when I was put in an eating disorder clinic when I didn’t have an eating disorder, told it was anxiety or stress over and over again, told there was nothing wrong, AND ALSO a time where I learned to be resilient, confident, to trust myself, to research, to survive and fight to live, until we finally found some answers.

My Story

Hey, I’m Haley James, and while I do a variety of things, such as interior design, run a clothing brand, create content on YouTube, host multiple podcasts, write blogs, model, act, and all things creative, my true calling is using my story, experiences, talents, and passions to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

From a young age, I have always been interested in various forms of creative expression, such as fashion, design, and storytelling, especially when I could apply a depth of meaning behind what I was doing. Although I had an interest in modeling, acting, and the art of both fields growing up, I didn’t fully commit to pursuing them until after I became sick and realized that I was suddenly in a unique position where I had a passion for something that could really help others at the same time.

Like many others living with chronic, rare, and invisible diseases, my story and road to diagnosis was a long one. For the full story, check out my YouTube page or blog (both linked at the bottom of the page). The cliff notes version is that I was perfectly healthy until one day senior year of college I began getting stomach aches after eating. It went on for a while until it hit a point where there was undeniably something really wrong. I saw doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist for FIVE years. A time when I was put in an eating disorder clinic when I didn’t have an eating disorder, told it was anxiety or stress over and over again, told there was nothing wrong, AND ALSO a time where I learned to be resilient, confident, to trust myself, to research, to survive and fight to live, until we finally found some answers.

We finally made our way to the top specialists at a research hospital where they found I had a couple of rare diseases that caused my stomach, intestines, and esophagus to become paralyzed. Once we knew the types of conditions we were looking at, doctors began to uncover more and more diagnoses that had all been missed and had progressed for years.
 
Due to the severity and the fact that there are currently no cures for these conditions, my doctor made it clear that my only choice was to get a feeding tube placed. After being told this, I began racking my brain trying to figure out what that even meant or looked like. I had never seen anyone with one. The only thing I had to draw on was the images from movies or TV shows where someone had an extreme eating disorder or where they were dying – there was no representation of anyone thriving.
 
I thought I was alone and that my life was over – even though the whole point of the tube was to give me my life back. 

Over the years, I found so many others – especially young women – living with feeding tubes due to similar conditions online! I began to fill my instagram and facebook feeds with their accounts, stories and photos – finding so much comfort in my reality being reflected back to me.

As I began to get a better grasp of my health and started working on finding ways to help others who would come after me, I began to think about what I had needed and what I wished had existed when I started my journey, and it hit me – representation. Someone I could point to and say, ‘Hey, that’s me.’ Someone I could use as an example to help friends and family understand. Someone I could look to who had a life and was living it!
 
Knowing that I began to wonder – why couldn’t that person be me?
 
As I reflected on my interests, I came to realize that modeling and acting were not only avenues for my own creative expression but also powerful tools for storytelling and representation. By being willing to do the work, show up, and be seen in these fields, I could help make it easier for others to see their story in mine, make it easier for them to come after me, and help to shed light on topics that are often overlooked, such as disability, accessibility, and inclusivity.
 
So that is why I do this. Yes, because I love fashion. Yes, because I love being creative. Yes, because I love acting and stories. BUT most of all, because I want to be the person I needed to see when I got my feeding tube that day in the hospital when I thought my life was over – to know that it wasn’t.

Heart & Purpose

All people should be represented in media. Representation matters in the modeling and entertainment industries, and it is important to showcase the beauty and value of all individuals, regardless of their differences. As a model and actor, I strive to use my platform to highlight the unique qualities and experiences of the communities that I belong to. By doing so, I hope to promote accessibility and encourage positive conversations surrounding disability.

Ultimately, I want my work to serve as a representation of diverse experiences and stories, so that people from all walks of life can see themselves reflected and represented in what I create.

Digitals & Measurements

Digitals & Measurements

MEASUREMENTS

AGE: 30

HEIGHT: 5’3″ or 160.02cm

WAIST: 25″

BUST: 32″ B

HIPS: 35″

DRESS SIZE: 4

SHOE SIZE: 6.5

HAIR: Brown

EYES: Blue-Green

MEDICAL DEVICES

FEEDING TUBE LOCATION: 

Right Mid-Abdomen

DEXCOM LOCATION: 

Switches Between Back Of Arms

AGENCIES

  • GAMUT Management

Location

  • San Francisco, CA 
  • Easily able to drive down to LA and flexible with travel

Visible Medical Devices

  • Feeding Tube:

    GJ-tubes enter the stomach directly through a hole that is made where the tube is inserted. There are two feeding ports, one into the stomach, and a second tube that extends into the small intestine. The longer internal tube allows feeding directly into the intestine, while the shorter goes to the stomach.

    These tubes must be replaced at the hospital by an interventional radiologist. Feedings must be given slowly, over 18-24 hours which requires patients to usually be attached to a pump in a backpack or be attached to an IV pole during that time. 

  • Dexcom G6:

    Dexcom G6 is a continuous glucose monitoring system that provides real-time glucose readings, a predictive alert, and customizable remote monitoring options for type 1 & type 2 diabetics, those with hypoglycemia, and those with other blood sugar issues.

Accommodations Needed

  • Ability to bring in own food/backpack

Communities Represented

  • Disabled Community
  • Feeding Tube Community
  • Invisible Illness Community
  • Chronic Illness Community
  • Rare Disease Community

FAQ

Yes! Often, navigating how to talk about or refer to a person with a disability or a disabled person can be intimidating or confusing. But for many – including me – I am disabled due to multiple disabling conditions. So it’s absolutely okay, and actually important, that we use the word ‘disabled’ in a way that describes the community it represents, to help re-associate the word with its true meaning and not the negative connotation it has been associated with.

Fear of saying the wrong thing prevents people from saying anything at all, and makes us avoid having important conversations about disability. This avoidance is one of the things I hope we can change by having open conversations like this.

Totally! This is a common thing that even I – as a disabled/chronically ill person in the disabled/chronically ill community – am still learning, as it can change person to person, disability to disability.

My whole platform and the reason I do this is to break down this barrier and have these conversations in a way that benefits all! I am very open with my story, experience, and thoughts on it all, so I am totally open to any and all questions you may have and will not be offended. It is absolutely a safe place to ask the questions and have these conversations!

Absolutely! My whole purpose is to help represent the various chronically ill/disabled communities I am part of, and so showing my medical devices in photos and representing it as normal is exactly what I seek to do!

Unless it is for a logistical reason (i.e., blocking a product, etc.), no. The reason for this is that these devices are what I personally, and many others, need to stay alive, and by photoshopping them out of photos, it sends the message that they are something to be embarrassed by, are not beautiful, and are not accepted. This is the opposite of everything I stand for and would be hurtful for these communities I represent and advocate for.

This is a great question and a common one! This can change depending on the garment and the styling of the outfit. Not all outfits even need to be adjusted, but for the ones that might – here are some ways they can be made accessible.

  • Putting a hole in the side of the dress for tubing to come out of
  • Putting a hole in the side of a shirt if it was supposed to be high waisted

Not usually! I can get around and manage on my own.

You can click the diagnosis links above to learn more about my conditions. You can also check out my Instagram, blog and YouTube (in the get to know me more section below) to learn more about my personal experience!

You can just ask! I am super open and comfortable talking about it and will not be offended at all!

I am not comfortable doing posing or photos that put feeding tubes, people with disabilities or medical devices in a bad light. 

Yes! I am not always plugged into my tube – and feel that should be represented as well, but when possible, I do prefer to have it in shots as representing my community is extremely important to me and I believe representation is one of the best things we can do in this industry!

My Dexcom is something that I need and cannot take off and on as needed – so that is not something I would be able to do.

Yes! I can and will bring my own backpack – but if you have a backpack preference from the ones I have or would like to use one of your backpacks, we can do that as well. 

Accommodations Needed

  • Ability to bring in own food/backpack

Communities Represented

  • Disabled Community
  • Feeding Tube Community
  • Invisible Illness Community
  • Chronic Illness Community
  • Rare Disease Community

FAQ

Yes! Often, navigating how to talk about or refer to a person with a disability or a disabled person can be intimidating or confusing. But for many – including me – I am disabled due to multiple disabling conditions. So it’s absolutely okay, and actually important, that we use the word ‘disabled’ in a way that describes the community it represents, to help re-associate the word with its true meaning and not the negative connotation it has been associated with.

Fear of saying the wrong thing prevents people from saying anything at all, and makes us avoid having important conversations about disability. This avoidance is one of the things I hope we can change by having open conversations like this.

Totally! This is a common thing that even I – as a disabled/chronically ill person in the disabled/chronically ill community – am still learning, as it can change person to person, disability to disability.

My whole platform and the reason I do this is to break down this barrier and have these conversations in a way that benefits all! I am very open with my story, experience, and thoughts on it all, so I am totally open to any and all questions you may have and will not be offended. It is absolutely a safe place to ask the questions and have these conversations!

Absolutely! My whole purpose is to help represent the various chronically ill/disabled communities I am part of, and so showing my medical devices in photos and representing it as normal is exactly what I seek to do!

Unless it is for a logistical reason (i.e., blocking a product, etc.), no. The reason for this is that these devices are what I personally, and many others, need to stay alive, and by photoshopping them out of photos, it sends the message that they are something to be embarrassed by, are not beautiful, and are not accepted. This is the opposite of everything I stand for and would be hurtful for these communities I represent and advocate for.

This is a great question and a common one! This can change depending on the garment and the styling of the outfit. Not all outfits even need to be adjusted, but for the ones that might – here are some ways they can be made accessible.

  • Putting a hole in the side of the dress for tubing to come out of
  • Putting a hole in the side of a shirt if it was supposed to be high waisted

Not usually! I can get around and manage on my own.

You can click the diagnosis links above to learn more about my conditions. You can also check out my Instagram, blog and YouTube (in the get to know me more section below) to learn more about my personal experience!

You can just ask! I am super open and comfortable talking about it and will not be offended at all!

I am not comfortable doing posing or photos that put feeding tubes, people with disabilities or medical devices in a bad light. 

Yes! I am not always plugged into my tube – and feel that should be represented as well, but when possible, I do prefer to have it in shots as representing my community is extremely important to me and I believe representation is one of the best things we can do in this industry!

My Dexcom is something that I need and cannot take off and on as needed – so that is not something I would be able to do.

Yes! I can and will bring my own backpack – but if you have a backpack preference from the ones I have or would like to use one of your backpacks, we can do that as well. 

COPYRIGHT © 2023 · IT'S HALEY JAMES

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

THESE EMAILS I SEND – I PROMISE – FEEL LIKE LETTERS FROM A FRIEND

Come Be Part Of
The Bloom!

I love connecting with people in this community! It’s my favorite thing that I get to do and this is one of the places I love to do it!

I only ever want to send you things I truly believe in my heart will serve you, support you, equip you, empower you and make you feel seen, heard & loved! Which to me means 0% spam & 100% all good things!

As a welcome gift, you’ll instantly unlock a 10% discount on your first store purchase, gain immediate access to my most popular free guide and of course friendship with me and this community! We can’t wait to have you!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!

YAY! I'm So excited to have you joining this community!

As promised here is your first welcome gift! Just click below and it’ll automatically download!

Also, be sure to check your email to make sure you received my welcome email that has your 10% off discount code so you can get another gift for yourself because you deserve it!