BY: SINEAD MULHERN
One young woman is standing out in the modelling industry, not for her perfections, but for her imperfections.
Chantelle Brown-Young is a young woman who took her modelling career from Toronto to Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. The young beauty who also goes by the names Winnie Harlow and Chantelle Winnie on social media has vitiligo, a skin condition that has caused white patches on her light brown skin.
Brown-Young has stomped down plenty of runways and possesses a high-fashion look with her slim build, long limbs and doe eyes. Vitiligo is a condition where a person’s body attacks its own skin pigment cells. This has left the young model with white patches that are nearly symmetrical and cover much of her body. But seriously, the woman is strikingly gorgeous.
Some in the industry are speculating that things are moving in a direction where scouters and fashion designers are looking for women who embody “different” looks rather than the classically-beautiful women that are known to dominate magazine pages and fashion ads. That’s exactly why Brown-Young is entering the business at the perfect time.
She really blew up after she filmed a home video to enter to be chosen for America’s Next Top Model. Banks has branded her show as something that is looking for unique beauties, not the cookie-cutter skinny blondes. Brown-Young fits that. And she knows it too. She says her message to people is that being different is a good thing.
The message is broad enough that nearly everyone can identify. Perhaps that’s why she has such success on social media too. It wasn’t always that way though. Kids can be mean. When Brown-Young was growing up, she was called “cow” and “zebra” because of her markings.
Well, if zebras can become show-stopping runway stars, we’re just fine with that.