You may have seen Winnie Harlow, the young woman who has been making waves in the fashion and modeling industry, but Winnie isn’t just a model, she’s a role model, reminding us how different is beautiful, and to embrace and celebrate who we are.
At the age of 4, Winnie was diagnosed with Vitiligo, a condition that causes skin to lose its pigment. As the years went on, Winnie’s skin continued to change and gradually patches of color on her arms, legs, and face began to fade from brown to white.
Winnie’s childhood was a challenging one. She was teased, ridiculed and bullied. Kids called her names like “cow” and “zebra.”
The continuous harassment and despair had Winnie thinking about suicide. “It was really hard growing up. I had to grow thick. People make fun of you and you have to learn how to deal or you break down. I’m not trying to break down so, I have to deal,” Winnie says in this great interview with Those Girls Are Wild.
With the support of her mom, Winnie learned to embrace her uniqueness, pushing back the negativity and taking charge of her own attitude. Her new found confidence landed her on the reality show America’s Next Top Model, which propelled her career.
Today, Winnie can be seen all over the world in advertisements, magazine spreads and strutting down the runway.
“It’s just a skin condition. It doesn’t hurt. There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m well. You can breathe the same air as me. We’re cool.”