'Don't try to belittle me to being my skin' says model Winnie Harlow

(Instagram/winnieharlow)

Canadian fashion model Winnie Harlow is a lot of things.

She’ a former contestant on the hit show “America’s Next Top Model,” a brand ambassador for Desigual clothing line, a speaker for Dove’s Self-Esteem project and a actress who has appeared in music videos, including Beyonce’s infamous “Lemonade.” Oh right, and she also happens to have a chronic skin condition called vitiligo.

ALSO SEE: What it is really like living with vitiligo

Since the beginning of her career, Harlow’s name has been synonymous with her skin condition and the fact that she chooses not to cover up the patches of depigmented skin found on her face and body. But she’s hoping to put a stop to that.

In a recent series of Instagram posts, she asked fans to see her for more than just her skin.


She starts by saying that yes, she is brave for many things. But waking up and feeling confident in her own skin is not one of those things.

“I’m not brave for waking up & being confident in my skin. I am not brave for choosing not to wear makeup,” she says.

“If a white person looked at a dark skin person & said ‘ur Brave for not bleaching ur skin to change & being confident the way u are’ it would be wrong.”

ALSO SEE: Model Winnie Harlow’s inspiring new essay on overcoming childhood bullies & finding success

While many have praised Harlow over the years for not hiding behind her skin, but rather wearing it confidently, she says that it is not a compliment.

“That implies there is something Wrong with the way I am & I deserve a pat on the back for being okay with it.”


Harlow then goes on to describe how she is brave.

“I am brave for working in a field where it’s my job to be scrutinized. Not because of my skin, because as a human it is hard to never feel ‘perfect’ for ur size, height, shape, hair type etc.”

She describes her struggles as the struggles every model has, those with vitiligo and without.

“Millions of people have Vitiligo & aren’t recognized. I’m known for my craft & my hard work. I’m known for my covers & campaigns. Don’t try to belittle me to being my ‘skin’. U aren’t urs, & I’m not mine.”

What do you think of Winnie’s posts? Let us know by tweeting to @YahooStyleCA