‘The point is to make women feel better, not worse, about themselves’
Winnie Harlow is another model known for changing perceptions of what modern beauty is. She is the first successful model with vitiligo – a condition that causes some parts of the skin to lose pigment.
‘People will say things like, “Oh my gosh, you’re so brave for going out and being yourself” and I’m like, “No, I’m not brave, I’m confident,”’ she said in a documentary for the BBC. And then there’s plus-size model
Ashley Graham, who is winning at Instagram. While she may not have the highest number of followers, hers is one of the most interactive accounts in the fashion industry, garnering more positive responses under her shots than almost any other model. This is a testimony to the extent to which Ashley’s fans see her as a role model, and specifically someone who can challenge the long-held idea that only one body shape can be beautiful.
Ashley has posted hundreds of Instagram shots of her size-18 body in all its natural glory under the hashtag #beautybeyondsize. ‘I would never retouch cellulite, because the point is to make women feel better, not worse, about themselves,’ she says.
Following in her wake is Candice Huffine, who is categorised as a plussize model, despite having a similar body shape to most women in the UK and SA. And after a slow start, constantly battling to lose weight to fit in with prevailing ideals of beauty, she accepted her larger body type – and within months was shooting with Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia.