Connect with us

Vitiligo Model Winnie Harlow Breaks Beauty Standard Of Fashion Industry


Vitiligo Model Winnie Harlow Breaks Beauty Standard Of Fashion Industry

One photoshoot session changed her life.

The beauty standard in the fashion industry is based upon unproven theories and an unhealthy portrayal of what’s considered “pretty.” And for a long time, it gatekeeps even people of various skin colors from being allowed into the modeling world.

Canadian model Winnie Harlow is among the few who break those standards with their unusual looks.

She was born Chantelle Brown-Young. While she enjoys the glam life of a supermodel, Chantelle used to be bullied for her skin condition.

Patches of pigmented skin formed on her tan-color skin, the first signs of vitiligo, when she was 4.

But she’s a world-class model now and is the ambassador of the Spanish label “Desigual.” She leads a luxurious life as she mingles with other A-listers like Madonna and Nicki Minaj. The 27-year-old shares many of her life’s milestones as she raises to the peak of her modeling career in an interview with CNN.

She was called a “cow” and “zebra” among many things as a child, forcing her to be homeschooled to avoid the verbal abuses she receive at school.

It sounded severe, but Winnie called the event of her dropping out from high school to have “rejuvenated” her.

She learned to stand up for herself and stopped paying attention to the insults directed at her.

“I learned to love who I am despite what anyone would say about or to me,” she proudly said.

The thought of entering the spotlight of the runway never crossed her mind. She shared, “I actually wanted to be an entertainment journalist.”

“To be completely honest I never thought I could become a model growing up,” she revealed. But it all changed thanks to the Toronto Photographer, Shannon Boodram. She encouraged her to build her portfolio and social media following.

Her followers’ support piqued Tyra Banks’ interest, allowing her to take part in “America’s Next Top Model” season 21.

Winnie wishes that the industry would accept more standards instead of just making them occasional occurrences.

“It’s time we open the market up and embrace people from all walks of life,” she urged.

Entering the beauty industry had instead been liberating for the woman in disproving all the bullying she used to experience.

So much so that her looks have become a trend among people that try to recreate her through various mediums such as paintings.

She wrote in a post, “It is very clear to me when someone is showing love. I appreciate these people recreating, loving, and broadcasting something that I once cried myself to sleep over.”

Social media has proven to be a great tool for her as she also accounted it for letting her network with various people around the world.

More in Beauty

To Top