Winnie Harlow has made quite a name for herself in the fashion industry since appearing on America's Next Top Model. Though the model did not win her cycle, she's become a true fashion stalwart (not to mention that she snagged a cameo in Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade, alongside Serena Williams and Zendaya, and a shout out in Drake's song "Signs"). Another way Harlow continues to play the part of role model: by bringing awareness to vitiligo, a condition that causes the loss of skin color in patches. And while Harlow always slays on camera, her latest Instagram post is especially evocative.
Posing in just a nude thong and silver hoop earrings, the model wrote, "The real difference isn't my skin. It's the fact that I don't find my beauty in the opinions of others. I'm beautiful because I know it. Celebrate Your unique beauty today (& everyday)!" The comments section of the post blew up with fans who heaped praise on the 23-year-old body-positive model.
Harlow has long been an outspoken body-positive activist on Instagram and beyond, though she recently told Elle Canada that she does not want to be defined by her vitiligo. "I'm very sick of talking about my skin," she said in the December 2016 issue. "I am literally just a human. I have the same brain as you; there's a skeleton under my skin just like yours. It's not that serious."
Harlow has paved the way for other models with skin conditions like albinism in the industry. Diandra Forrest called her out as an example of how the industry is beginning to include more-diverse representations of beauty. "There are a lot more women of color being represented in a beautiful light. There weren't for a while. And even just different looking people [you're seeing a lot more of]—like Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo." She added, "The more models there are with different looks, the more role models there will be." Well said.
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