We live in a world where only certain types of people have been branded "beautiful" in fashion industries and the media. The media of the west tends to glorify white, clear skinned, cis-gender, thin, symmetrical faced and able bodied men and women as "beautiful," when in reality beauty comes in several shapes, forms, colors, and sizes. People are afraid of the unusual and unconventional sides of beauty; but we forget that it is our uniqueness, personality, and our confidence in ourselves, that make us beautiful. Here are 10 people who are redefining beauty standards.
1. Winnie Harlow
Winnie Harlow is a twenty-one year old Canadian model who was diagnosed with vitiligo at the age of four. During her childhood, she was called names such as “cow” and “zebra” due to her skin tone. She decided that she would not tolerate the bullying. After auditioning for “America's Next Top Model”, she was placed in the top sixth position and was featured in Drake’s “Know Yourself” song: “Reps up is in here got P Reign and Chubby and TJ and Winnie and whoa/Yeah, and you know how that should go.” She was also featured in several promotional videos such as in underground artist, JMSN’s video, “The One”. Harlow lives by the phrase, “black comes in all shades”, and addresses cultural appropriation.
2. Cassandra Naud
Cassandra Naud is a professional dancer who has hypertrichosis, which is a condition of excessive hair growth on parts of the body. Naud has this birthmark under her right eye, and was bullied as a child. Her parents decided to not remove it due to the possibility of scarring. Naud transgressed and managed to book several dance shows and allowed her birthmark to help her stand out. It is a unique feature of hers that she has no plans of letting go of.
3. Nadia Aboulhosn
Nadia Aboulhosn is a Lebanese-American plus-sized model and fashion blogger. She also works as a designer and is known for designing plus sized clothing lines. She has worked on fashion brands such as Boo-Hoo, Addition Elle, and Lord and Taylor and has modeled for American Apparel. Not only is she reshaping beauty standards but she is showing her hard core entrepreneurial skills as a woman of color.
4. Maria Borges
Maria Borges is a fashion model hailing from Angola, Africa. In 2013 she was named Forbes Africa Magazine’s Top Model. She is known for embracing her natural hair in a controversial photo shoot and has promoted fashion brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Givenchy.
5. Rain Dove
Rain Dove is an androgynous model who is not going to accept the societal “gender binary”. She likes modeling for male as well as female garments. She assumed that a company as big as Calvin Klein would want a blonde female model, but she turned out to fit the look that Klein was looking for. Dove jokingly uses the term “gender capitalist” to describe herself, but also realizes that there are unfair advantages of being cast as a certain gender.
6. Jillian Mercado
Jillian Mercado is a Dominican American fashion blogger and model who has spastic muscular dystrophy. She attended the Fashion Institute of technology and featured in a “Diesel” jeans campaign, while featured in The Wall Street Journal.
7. Madeline Stuart
Madeline Stuart is a young eighteen year old girl with Down Syndrome who aspires to become a top famous model. She has been on cat walks such as the New York Fashion Week, owns her own fashion website and is pro-body positivity.
8. Waris Ahluwalia
[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F09%2F6359057733321832381574386517_gaptwitter.png%3Fw%3D484&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=895&h=62ef81f16c4568574cfdaba9b6bf914f4f8581b6a5d137aff8f2f76e352e80ad&size=980x&c=3750025497 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F09%252F6359057733321832381574386517_gaptwitter.png%253Fw%253D484%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D895%26h%3D62ef81f16c4568574cfdaba9b6bf914f4f8581b6a5d137aff8f2f76e352e80ad%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3750025497%22%7D" expand=1 original_size="1x1"]Waris Ahluwalia is a Sikh American male model of Indian descent. He is an actor who was cast in films such as “The Darjeeling Limited” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” In an industry that promotes white male beauty standards, Ahluwalia serves to display the diversity of America and the beauty of the Sikh faith. He was featured in Gap fashion campaign while wearing the turban, and he promotes acceptance.
9. Sgt. Taylor Urruela
Sgt. Taylor Urruela is a U.S. soldier who was serviced in Baghdad. His leg was hit by shrapnel associated with an explosive device motor incident. Eventually his leg was amputated due to the blowing of a femoral artery and limb injuries. Despite losing a leg, he works as a model, a personal trainer, and motivational speaker. He was cast in Michael Stokes’ American veterans calendar.
10. Chrissy Teigen
Teigen is an American model who made her debut on “Sports Illustrated.” She is a host on a life style panel TV show called “FABLife”, and has featured in editorials such as “Vogue” and “Cosmopolitan.” After her weight gain, she showed off her stretch marks/"tiger stripes" in her Twitter posts. She is pro body positivity.