Winnie Harlow is attracting a great deal of attention for her confidence on the runway, but she’s uncomfortable being called a role model. The 22-year-old model admits she is “breaking boundaries” and is pleased people find her “inspirational” but she won’t go out of her way to change her behavior to set a good example.
She said: “I’m breaking boundaries. But I definitely don’t want to be called a role model. I’m just me. I live my life as myself. I make mistakes, I swear a lot. I’m just a young woman living my life and if people find something in that that’s inspirational, then I’m happy.”
Winnie was bullied because of her skin pigment condition vitiligo when she was a child but eventually realized her own opinion was what counted and stopped listening to the hurtful comments.
She said: “The only reason I didn’t like my skin is because I was told it wasn’t what’s right. Or I was told it wasn’t normal. But who’s to say that? Eventually I learned that my opinion of myself matters so much more than anyone else’s and I wish I’d known it earlier. One day I just didn’t give a f**k anymore.”
And the former America’s Next Top Model contestant admits she finds it frustrating that her skin is constantly under scrutiny.
She told Grazia magazine: “I am honestly so sick of talking about my skin. Literally, so sick of it. I hope one day I can just stop talking about it. It shouldn’t be a box that people try and keep me in, but I feel like that’s going to be a battle throughout my whole life. All I can do is try to fight it for the next generation. I’m the first of my kind, but one day I hope I’m not the model with vitiligo. I hope I’ll just be Winnie Harlow the model.”