Winnie Harlow Shakes Off Self-Doubt
Vitiligo Winnie Harlow, who found fame after her selfies were noticed by scouts on the internet, joined a panel of significant women to speak at the London Women In The World summit on the subject of how social network sites impacts our self-confidence.
She spoke out on how her skin ailment vitiligo impacted her self-esteem growing up and the self-revelation that has really helped her accept her attractiveness and get rid of hate from others, permanently.
Winnie said that as a child she recalls feeling like she was known in school as ‘the girl with the skin condition’, and while she’s now a successful model, her career is not devoid of challenges.
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On the topic of how the modelling industry continues to have a long way to come in being representative and inclusive, Winnie confessed that for as a lot of companies who do work with her there are ‘companies who don’t see me as a model and think I’m ‘that girl with the skin condition’ just like at school.’
However in her rise to success she has been able to serve as a poster girl for all those with vitiligo who’ve expert discrimination. When the talk’s mediator remembered how while contending in America’s Next Top Model Winnie was referred to as ‘sweet panda bear’ by a photographer on a shoot, and ways in which she faced backlash from the show’s judges for telling him not to call her the name, despite it being a ‘feminist issue.’
Winnie says she’s happy she did it. ‘Even if (that name) never hurts me, it may hurt somebody else. Kids could see that and think it’s alright to call another kid with my affliction names.’
Although Winnie has felt the beneficial side of social media after being found as a model via her selfies, she’s no stranger to negativity. But she said her turning point started in ‘making the time and effort to concentrate on my opinion of myself.’
‘I was like, “Wait, I don’t in fact think I’m ugly – I think I’m beautiful.” So where did I get the idea I’m not from? From somebody else.
‘Now I have learnt purely to listen to myself.’