Although there is the saying that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, there is still a convention of symmetrical faces, perfect skin, even skin tone and high cheekbones – all airbrushed to perfection before being published in magazines and on social media. However, thanks to some special women (and many others) the conventional beauty standard has been broken. Despite some backlash these women stood their ground and are fearless in turning our definitions of ‘beauty’ on its head.
Chantelle Brown aka Winnie Harlow
Diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four did not set a positive childhood for her. Vitiligo is an incurable skin pigmentation that causes colourless patches on a person’s body. She was often bullied for the way she looked – her peers taunted her with cruel nicknames such as “cow” and “zebra”.
Despite all the bullying that created a bitter atmosphere for her, she broke the social standard of beauty by appearing in Season 1 of America’s Next Top Model. Right then, she became hugely successful. Winnie proved that there is room for not only models of colour, but also models with many colours.
Erika is the first Swedish model who starred as both a female and male model by exploring her gender fluidity. The social media influencer has posed as Leonardo Dicaprio for Candy Magazine and is challenging social norms of masculinity and femininity. She inspires people by challenging gender norms as she believes that everyone feels that that ‘need’ to belong somewhere.
The first curvy model making onto Forbes’ list of highest paying models, Ashley Graham is not a newbie when it comes to challenging the conventional idea of the stick-thin model. She has successfully made plus-sized modelling seen to be on par with other fashion modelling and is constantly inspiring other women (and girls) to be body confident. In an interview with Forbes, Ashley said that it is not about who has the highest cheekbones anymore but it is really about how to be a boss, a brand and a businesswoman.
Diandra is a green-eyed African-American albino who inspires everyone to accept and love themselves regardless of how different they are compared to others. However, Diandra received a lot of negative feedback regarding her looks during her early modelling years. Due to her albinism, her eyebrow and eyelashes are very blonde, and just like her Caucasian peers, she would go for casting with less makeup. However, many agents would often ask her to wear more mascara and Diandra said that she tended to take these comments personally when she was young.
Now that she is older, she looks back and wants everyone to be comfortable in their own skin. She adds that with or without makeup, one should feel confident about their looks.
From this list of beautiful women, an important lesson taught is that imperfection is beauty, beauty is imperfection.
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Photo Credits: Useless Daily, Mic, E!News, Glamour