Meet the cover girl Winnie Harlow who is now changing the standards of beauty.
Winnie Harlow has been reported to be bullied during her high school as being called as ‘cow’ and ‘zebra.’ To this day, she had became an internet sensation with her unique features, and beauty.
Winnie is a Canadian model who is born Chantelle Brown-Young, as she was diagnosed with an incurable vitiligo pigmentation diseases that develops a colorless patches into her face and body.
As she recalls,
“The bullying was so bad that I was forced to drop out and be home schooled.”
For more, read on for her interview with CNN below,
How did you overcome being bullied as a child?
Winnie Harlow: [Dropping out of high school] was possibly the best thing that could have happened, because I found a rejuvenated sense of self. I learned to love who I am despite what anyone would say about or to me. This gave me the courage to really stand up to anyone or any obstacle in my life.
How did you get into fashion?
To be completely honest I never thought I could become a model growing up. I actually wanted to be an entertainment journalist. I started pursuing modeling after I had an interview with a Toronto Photographer, Shannon Boodram, and she encouraged me to continue pushing. From there I started to build myself up by leveraging social media.
When “America’s Next Top Model” (ANTM) was casting for the new season I asked all my fans online to tag Tyra Banks so she could see my photos — and they did! My little sister started a Facebook page for me and one of the producers from the show sent a message showing interest. Initially I didn’t believe it but I followed through and ended up being on the show for season 21. After Tyra gave me that opportunity it was my time.
Can you tell us about your experience working with photographer Nick Knight?
Nick Knight was my first big gig as a ‘real’ model. Prior to, and during “ANTM” I never actually called myself a model because I always viewed it as a hobby. Then I received an email directly from Nick and we made arrangements to work together in London. That shoot gave me the confidence to continue modeling as a career.
Does prejudice and discrimination still exist within fashion?
I think the industry is opening up but still needs to accept various forms of beauty as a standard, as opposed to an occurrence now and then. I want to see different faces on the covers of magazines, the stars of movies, featured on billboards… It’s time we open the market up and embrace people from all walks of life.
Are there any liberating aspects to the fashion industry?
The most liberating thing is being able to just simply be myself and show the fashion industry that beauty can come in many forms.
How important is social media in changing and developing concepts of beauty?
I think it helps. Social media when used positively and correctly can act as a great tool for you to meet people from around the world and ultimately share what you have to offer.
Your look has become a fashion statement in and of itself. What do you think of the backlash against some of the people trying to imitate your condition?
I did share my ideas on my Instagram but to reiterate I think that people are not imitating me in a negative form. They were showing their version of me and I appreciated it.
Can you predict what the fashion industry’s desired ‘look’ will be in the future?
Not 100%, but whatever it is, I plan to be at the forefront.
Have you ever wondered the models or celebrities Winnie Harlow looks up to? Below are some of Winnie’s Instagram Inspirations: