Since shooting to fame after staring in America’s Next Top Model, Winnie Harlow has become a huge name in the fashion industry and beyond.
Not only is she stunningly beautiful, the Canadian born model also suffers from vitiligo, a skin condition that causes white patches to appear on her skin.
Harlow is black, yet the vitiligo means her skin is marked with white blocks, adding to her unusual model like appeal, and she has now walked the catwalk in both Madrid and New York, along with being a brand ambassador for both Diesel and Desigual.
While she has come to terms with her condition, after being bullied at school, the 21-year-old has found controversy heaped upon her.
Due to her popularity and looks, both white and black people have been attempting to copy her skin tone, leading to claims from critics that they are basically doing something akin to those who have used make-up for ‘black face’ in the past.
Harlow responded to the claims, and in a way that most people may not have expected, but she certainly gives people food for thought with her comments.
She took to Instagram to post this response:
My response to this is probably not what a lot of people want but here it goes: every time someone wants fuller lips, or a bigger bum, or curly hair, or braids does Not mean our culture is being stolen. Have you ever stop to realize these things used to be ridiculed and now they’re loved and lusted over.
No one wants to “steal” our look. We’ve just stood so confidently in our own nappy hair and du-rags and big asses (or in this case, my skin) that now those who don’t have it love and lust after it. Just because a black girl wears blue contacts and long weave doesn’t mean she wants to be white and just because a white girl wears braids and gets lip injection doesn’t mean she wants to be black.
The amount of mixed races in this world is living proof that we don’t want to be each other we’ve just gained a national love for each other. Why can’t we embrace that feeling of love? Why do we have to make it a hate crime? In a time when so much negative is happening, please don’t accuse those who are showing love and appreciation, of being hateful.
It is very clear to me when someone is showing love and I appreciate these people recreating, loving and broadcasting something to the world that once upon a time I cried myself to sleep over #1LOVE.